The Ravens snuck out of Philadelphia with a too-close-for-comfort win, hanging on 30-28 after the Eagles scored 22 points in the fourth quarter. Baltimore only managed two field goals in the final 15 minutes, which gave Carson Wentz and a depleted offense a chance to climb back into the match. Baltimore had a season high of 12 penalties, which did not help against the Philly scoring surge.
Nonetheless, there were several positive notes to take away from week six. Lamar Jackson had a 37 yard touchdown run that flashed memories of last year’s MVP performance, while the offense posted an impressive 30 points without much action in the final quarter. Baltimore newcomer Calais Campbell was named the AFC defensive player of the week, as the defensive end notched three sacks and four tackles for a loss. Campbell has been a tremendous addition for the Ravens, consistently making plays on Sundays.
Baltimore’s defense got even better heading into the bye, with Eric DeCosta securing an excellent trade on paper for highly-touted Vikings pass rusher Yannick Ngakoue. Ngakoue made a name for himself playing alongside now-Raven Calais Campbell in Jacksonville, as the two piled up sacks together during the 2017 season. The dangerous duo become reunited on a Ravens defense with championship expectations. Baltimore managed to only give up third and fifth round draft picks, a bargain for an elite defensive stud. With Matt Judon, Brandon Williams, Calais Campbell, and now Yannick Ngakoue, the Ravens arguably have one of the top defensive lines in football. Expect defensive coordinator Don Martindale to get Ngakoue brought up to speed through a conveniently timed bye-week, allowing him to let loose on Ben Roethlisberger in a substantial week eight divisional bout.
The looming matchup versus the Steelers will play a significant role in the divisional standings, as well as have huge implications for the playoff picture. Roethlisberger has lead a young and hot offense to 5-0, while a strong defense built around defensive end T. J. Watt continues to thrive. The recent loss of starting linebacker Devin Bush hurts, but the Steelers have cruised through the season with vengeance regardless of their injury report. Last year without Roethlisberger, the team appeared soulless. With an aging Big Ben behind center, the Steelers look like a rejuvenated team rushing toward a championship. Their main problem is that Father Time not far behind.