Ravens ride well-rounded performance over lowly Raiders
BALTIMORE — Rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson ran for a touchdown and threw for a score, Terrell Suggs returned a fumble 43 yards for a TD and the Baltimore Ravens ran past the Oakland Raiders 34-17 on Sunday.
Cyrus Jones took a punt 70 yards for a touchdown to help the Ravens (6-5) win a second straight game for the first time since September.
Gus Edwards rushed for 118 yards as part of an effective ground game that enabled Jackson to pass just enough to keep the Raiders off guard — and off the field. Baltimore expanded a three-point halftime lead to 27-17 with two run-heavy touchdown drives that consumed a total of nearly 16 minutes.
With starter Joe Flacco out for a second straight game with an injured right hip, Jackson cut down on his rushing attempts, threw more often and got the same result: a victory. After carrying 27 times for 117 yards last week in his NFL starting debut, Jackson ran 11 times for 71 yards and went 14 for 25 for 178 yards and two interceptions.
Known primarily for his ability to run, Jackson proved to be a dual threat.
“Just because you can run with the ball doesn’t mean you can’t throw,” coach John Harbaugh said.
Suggs clinched it with 5 minutes, 55 seconds left, lumbering down the right sideline after Oakland’s Derek Carr was sacked by Matthew Judon and lost the ball on fourth down.
“He still has it,” Harbaugh said of the 36-year-old Suggs. “Those are the back-breaking plays.”
Carr completed 16 of 34 passes for 194 yards and a touchdown but was sacked three times.
The Raiders (2-9) came in with the league’s 31st-ranked running defense, and the Ravens exploited that weakness for 242 yards rushing on 43 attempts.
“They didn’t make it real complicated,” Oakland coach Jon Gruden said. “You have to stop the inside run, or you have no chance to stop everything else.”
Baltimore opened the third quarter with a 13-play drive that consumed nearly seven minutes and featured 12 running plays, including a 5-yard touchdown by Jackson that made it 20-10.
Carr matched that touchdown by using the opposite approach, passing to Seth Roberts for 44 yards to set up a 16-yard scoring toss to tight end Jared Cook.
Jackson then orchestrated a 17-play march that covered 71 yards and lasted 8:53. On third-and-goal from the 8, Jackson zipped a TD pass to former Oakland star Michael Crabtree.
“They took over the game,” Gruden said. “Credit to them.”
The Ravens’ only touchdown before halftime came on Jones’ second-quarter punt return.
Jones tiptoed down the right sideline and went the distance, getting key blocks from Chris Moore and Judon. It was the first career touchdown for Jones, who was released by New England in October.
Jackson threw two interceptions, ran twice for 11 yards and took a sack in the first half. More than half of his 140 yards passing before halftime came on one play: a 74-yarder to tight end Mark Andrews that set up a field goal.
Carr struggled too, going 9 for 24 for 97 yards. Oakland’s lone first-half touchdown came on a 1-yard plunge by Doug Martin that initially was called a lost fumble before a replay determined he broke the plane of the end zone before losing possession.