The Baltimore Ravens got a much needed win Sunday in their effort to maintain a fighting chance for a potential playoff seed. Baltimore shut out the Green Bay Packers, 23-0, on Nov. 19, on the road in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

The win pushed the Ravens overall record back up to .500 at 5-5, where they currently sit just outside of the sixth place in the AFC standings.

Baltimore Ravens’ Jimmy Smith intercepts a pass in front of Green Bay Packers’ Randall Cobb during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)

Aaron Rodgers didn’t play…

Ravens fans shouldn’t get too excited over the dominant defensive performance displayed by Baltimore in Green Bay. All-pro quarterback Aaron Rodgers, arguably the best quarterback in all of football, didn’t play because of a knee injury so the Ravens faced backup Brett Hundley, instead. Hundley, a former All-PAC-12 Team honoree at UCLA that has trained behind Rodgers in Green Bay’s offense for two full seasons, is a mobile athlete with decent arm talent. But he struggled mightily against Baltimore’s defense, completing just 20-of-35 pass attempts for 236 yards and three interceptions. In comparison, Rodgers had thrown only three interceptions to 13 touchdowns in the five games he played this season before getting injured. Considering Rodgers has consistently torched Baltimore every time he’s faced them throughout his career, it’s safe to assume they probably caught a break with his timely injury. Hard to believe Baltimore would keep that guy from scoring fewer than 20 points, let alone zero points.

It was the third shutout recorded this season by the Ravens’ defense…

Aaron Rodgers or not, a shutout is a shutout and Baltimore picked up it’s third one in 10      games played. The NFL record for most shutouts in a single season is five (5), held in a tie by the 1944 New York Giants and the ‘76 Steelers. The ‘00 Ravens, which rostered arguably the greatest defensive unit ever, recorded four shutouts during its magical Super Bowl Championship season — that tells you how significant it is for this year’s Ravens’ defense to have recorded three so far. Not only did they shut out Green Bay, they forced five turnovers (three interceptions and two forced fumbles recovered). Baltimore now has 23 total turnovers on the season (13 interceptions with seven fumbles recovered). If they keep offering this kind of impact over the remainder of the season, they may actually have a legitimate chance of sneaking into the playoffs.

Joe Flacco and the Ravens offense didn’t embarrass themselves for once…

Flacco finished with a 90.9 passing rating and completed 22-of-28 pass attempts for 183    passing yards, including a sweet-looking 21-yard touchdown pass to veteran receiver Mike Wallace that gave the Ravens a 13-0 lead early in the third quarter at the time. The way the Ravens’ defense was playing, that score by Flacco was essentially “the nail in the coffin” on a pathetic Packers squad that appeared completely inadequate without its star leader, Rodgers. There was even some good balance in the play calling by offensive coordinator, Marty Mornhinweg, who has struggled to put together a balanced, effective game plan most of this  season. Mornhinweg called 26 running plays, compared to 28 pass attempts by Flacco. Running back Alex Collins ran the ball 20 times for only 49 yards, but he scored a late touchdown and kept Green Bay’s defense honest.

Next: The Ravens will host the Houston Texans (4-6 overall) on Monday Night Football, Nov. 27 at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Md.

Perry Green

AFRO Sports Editor