The Ravens won their third straight game, fourth in the last five games, after a 44-20 victory over the Detroit Lions on Dec. 3 at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Md.

The win advanced the Ravens’ overall record to 7-5, 2-1 against the AFC North. Baltimore currently holds the sixth and final seed for the AFC playoffs.

The closer it gets to January, the better Joe Flacco plays…

Baltimore Ravens running back Alex Collins (34) scores a touchdown in the second half of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions, Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Gail Burton)

Ravens running back Alex Collins ran for a game-high two touchdowns, along with 75 yards on 15 carries (5 yards per carry). But, Joe Flacco also had one of his best performances of the season, tossing two touchdown passes to zero interceptions, along with 269 yards on 23-of-36 passes completed with a 105.0 passer rating.  For a second straight week, the 10-year veteran quarterback attacked down field after spending majority of the season running mainly short,  shallow route plays. It paid off as he was able to connect with veteran speedster Mike Wallace on a 66-yard bomb that helped Baltimore launch a 20-0 scoring run in the opening half.

Flacco has been dubbed “January Joe” by many fans among the Ravens’ fanbase. It’s a nickname first given to him by Ravens all-pro linebacker Terrell Suggs because the NFL playoffs are annually played during January and Flacco has put up one of the most impressive playoff resumes for a quarterback in the history of the league. Flacco’s playoff record is 10-5 with 25 touchdowns to just 10 interceptions, incredible stats compared to the average numbers he typically puts up during the regular season. If the Ravens can find a way to finish this season out strong and make the playoffs, they’ll be a scary team to face with “January Joe” at the helm.

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco (5) looks for a receiver in the second half of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions, Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Gail Burton)

Don’t let the score fool you, it was another dominant performance by the Ravens’ defense…

Baltimore may have given up 20 points, but it was after they “called off the dogs” for most of the second half as the Ravens held a 20-0 lead by halftime. Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford ended up with 292 yards on 24-of-29 passing, but he could barely move the ball in the first half when Baltimore was building its lead. The Ravens’ defense basically allowed Detroit (6-6 overall) to move up the field slowly throughout the last two quarters of the game. And, although they gave up three touchdowns, they also intercepted two passes late in the fourth, including a pick-six by safety Eric Weddle to seal out the victory.

Next The Ravens will travel to Pittsburgh to face their arch rival Steelers (9-2 overall) on Sunday night, Dec. 10. Kickoff set for 8:30 p.m. Eastern.

Perry Green

AFRO Sports Editor