Lions vs. Ravens Report Card: Detroit falls on record-breaking kick
By Zach Payne
This is about as great as this defense could have played. They allowed just one touchdown and 19 points overall to an offense that, coming into this game, was ranked 3rd in total yards and 4th in points. That is an incredible improvement compared to the previous two games.
Additionally, the Lions allowed just 116 rushing yards to one of the best rushing offenses in NFL history. And that total would have been a lot better if it wasn’t for a 31 yard Lamar Jackson scramble.
Another positive sign was the pass rush, as they got home and brought Jackson down for a sack 4 times and pressured him repeatedly.
Also, Detroit grabbed their first interception of the season courtesy of Amani Oruwariye:
The only reason this isn’t a 5-star grade is because of two plays. The third and 18 that the Ravens converted for a touchdown, and the fourth and 19 the Ravens converted with under 15 seconds left in the game to set up Justin Tucker.
Best defensive player(s): Romeo and Julian Okwara
The Okwara brothers were absolutely incredible in this game, especially down the stretch. Romeo did a great job in run support and in pass rush off the edge and Julian was absolutely dominant lining up inside.
Romeo was the only one of the brothers to pick up a sack, but they were incredible in forcing Jackson to get the ball out quickly.
Worst defensive player: Will Harris
Honestly, this was a difficult choice. No one on defense stood out as that bad, but one play by Harris is the reason he is here.
With a couple of minutes left in the first half, the Ravens had a third down and 18. Aaron Glenn called a cover 2 sink coverage. Instead of sinking to protect the end zone Harris bit on a crossing route by Mark Andrews. This left a Ravens receiver wide open in the back of the end zone for a touchdown.
If Harris hadn’t bit on the crosser, the Ravens would have had to settle for a field goal. And this game would have looked a whole lot different.
Special Teams-4/5 Stars
New kicker Ryan Santoso had a solid day, hitting both extra points and drilling the go-ahead field goal with 1:08 left in the game.
Jack Fox had a rare misfire, but other than that had a great game. Pinning the Ravens deep multiple times.
The punt coverage was just okay, on two returns the Ravens got a total of 42 yards. That needs to improve next week.
There was a forced fumble by the special teams that Detroit recovered inside the red zone. However, that play was negated by a Jerry Jacobs penalty for running out of bounds without being blocked.