You can call it a cliché, but it’s wouldn’t be “Ravens’ Football” if it didn’t come in an ugly, yet winning fashion. Baltimore didn’t get it done prettily, yet they still managed to come out with a 19-17 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars on the road in Jacksonville, Fla.
The Ravens now carry a 3-0 record for just the second time in the 21-year history of the franchise and the first time since 2009.
The Baltimore Ravens offense, left, lines up against the Jacksonville Jaguars defense at the line of scrimmage during the second half of an NFL football game in Jacksonville, Fla., Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016. The Ravens won 19-17. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
Baltimore led most of the game and was up, 10-0, at one point in the first half. Quarterback Joe Flacco scored the Ravens’ lone touchdown of the game on a 7-yard run in the opening quarter, and kicker Justin Tucker made a 43-yard field goal to give them the two-score lead.
Flacco was pinpoint accurate early on, completing 21 straight passes at one point, which set a franchise record. It was one completion short of tying the NFL’s all-time single game record of passes completed (22). Flacco almost captured that record right before halftime as he zipped a laser pass into the hands of receiver Mike Wallace, which would have been another touchdown had Wallace not flat out dropped the pass. Baltimore then settled for a field goal and went into the halftime break, leading 13-7.
Tucker made another field goal early in the third quarter to extend the Ravens’ lead to 16-7, but Jacksonville then shut Baltimore out for the remainder of the quarter as they came back to eventually lead, 17-16, in the fourth quarter. But after a blocked Jaguars field goal attempt with three minutes left in the game, Flacco and Ravens’ offensive unit moved down the field to set up a 53-yard game attempt for Tucker. The five-year veteran kicker then showed why he’s the second most accurate kicker in NFL history by drilling the long field goal with yards to spare. It was Tucker’s 11th career game-winning field goal in his career.
Flacco completed 29-of-40 pass attempts for 214 passing yards, though he did throw two interceptions, both off tipped passes. Most of Flacco’s passes were caught by veteran receiver Steve Smith Sr., who caught eight passes for 87 yards.
Baltimore’s defense did a number on the Jaguars’ offense, creating three turnovers. Jags quarterback Blake Bortles tossed three interceptions, including one intercepted by Ravens linebacker Zachary Orr during Jacksonville’s final offensive drive, ultimately ending the game. Ravens’ linebacker Terrell Suggs led the way with two sacks.
Next: The Ravens (3-0, 1-0 AFC North) will host the Oakland Raiders on Oct. 2 at M&T Stadium in Baltimore, Md.