The Ravens started their season off hot with an explosive offense right out of the gate, trouncing the Miami Dolphins 59-10 on the road. Rookie first round wide receiver Marquise Brown didn’t waste any time in his first glimpse of NFL action, hauling in 2 touchdowns and 147 receiving yards.
First overall pick of the NFL draft, Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray stood no match for the Ravens in week two, falling short 23-17. Murray came into the league with plenty of hype from his Heisman award winning season as an Oklahoma Sooner, but was outplayed by second year signal caller Lamar Jackson. Jackson rushed for 120 yards and put up 272 through the air with two touchdowns.
Week 3 brought the reigning NFL MVP of 2018, quarterback Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs. The Ravens traveled to the hostile environment of Arrowhead Stadium and put up a fight, keeping the game close for all four quarters. Ravens running back Mark Ingram ran for three touchdowns and 103 yards, but it wasn’t enough to hold off the red hot Chiefs and their explosive Mahomes-led offense. The Ravens left Kansas City with their first loss of the season, 28-33.
The first divisional matchup of the season did not bode well for the Ravens, whose defense let up a historical amount of yardage to the revamped Cleveland Browns. Baker Mayfield threw for over 300 yards, while running back Nick Chubb ran through the Baltimore defense for 165 yards and three touchdowns. The Ravens fell for the second week in a row, 25-40.
There’s no better way to forget a divisional loss than by fighting out an overtime win against another division rival, the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Ravens traveled to Heinz Field facing a Ben Roethlisberger-less Steelers team, with backup quarterback Mason Rudolph leading the offense. The teams exchanged scores through all four quarters, and were tied at the end of regulation 23-23. Earl Thomas laid a brutal hit on Rudolph in the second half of the game, knocking the signal caller out for the day. Raven’s cornerback Marlon Humphrey sealed the game by causing and recovering a fumble from receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster during a Steelers overtime drive, setting up a game winning kick from Justin Tucker. The Ravens sneaked away with a 26-23 win.
In their third divisional matchup in a row, the Ravens remained hot and knocked off the winless Cincinnati Bengals 23-17. Jackson had another explosive game with his legs, running over the Bengals for 152 yards and a score.
In a highly anticipated road matchup with the Seattle Seahawks, the Ravens showed up to CenturyLink Field ready to play. Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson was part of potential MVP candidate conversation until the Ravens defense held him in check for four quarters. Newcomer cornerback Marcus Peters whom the Ravens traded for the week prior to the matchup made an impressive first impression, intercepting Wilson for a pick-six early in the game. For the first time all year, the Ravens defense stood out as they shut down a high-powered offense that the rest of the league had failed to do in 2019. The Ravens exited a rainy Seattle with a 30-16 victory.
Week 9 will be the Raven’s biggest test yet, as the undefeated New England Patriots come into M&T Bank Stadium for a prime time Sunday night matchup. The Patriots are boasting the number one ranked defense in the NFL, but have yet to play a team the same caliber as the Ravens. The biggest question is how exactly Bill Belichick will try to shut down the dynamic Lamar Jackson, as the Patriots are known for taking away another team’s best weapon. Tom Brady does not have a particularly explosive offense this year, with sure-handed Julian Edelman being his most utilized weapon. This hasn’t made much of a difference for their offense, who still are ranked 1st in the NFL in points scored per game. If the Ravens continue to play the way they have been, this could be one of the best matchups of the 2019-2020 NFL season.