News & Analysis

NFL Week 9 PFF ReFocused: Baltimore Ravens 24, Indianapolis Colts 10

Nov 8, 2020; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) celebrates with teammates after scoring a touchdown against the Indianapolis Colts in the second half at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Points were hard to come by for both offenses, but the Baltimore Ravens did just enough to come away with the 24-10 win over the Indianapolis Colts in Week 9.

Not only did Baltimore’s defense hold the Colts to just 10 points, but it scored seven of its own when safety Chuck Clark returned a fumble 65 yards for a touchdown to kick off the Ravens’ scoring.

The game had serious implications for the AFC playoff race, as both teams are in second place in their respective divisions. Baltimore moves to 6-2 on the season, two games behind the Pittsburgh Steelers, while the Colts drop to 5-3, one game behind the division-leading Tennessee Titans.

Editor's note: All of PFF's grades and advanced stats from this game will be finalized and made available to ELITE subscribers within 24 hours of the final whistle.

Story of the Game

Defense was the story of the game, starting with Baltimore’s fumble return for a touchdown. Cornerback Marcus Peters forced the ball out, and he later came back with an interception. He was the clear star on that side of the ball for the Ravens.

Baltimore's defense allowed just -.46 expected points added and 3.9 yards per play while holding the Colts to their lowest point total of the season. It was a poor day for Indianapolis quarterback Philip Rivers, who had just a 38.4 passer rating on 10-plus yard throws while continuing his maddening inconsistency. Rivers came into the game with five 75.0-plus PFF grades but also two games under 60.0. This one was more like the latter, as the Indianapolis offense got little going through the air. 

On the other side of the ball, the Colts' defense did its part, getting strong performances from the front seven. Interior defensive lineman Grover Stewart continued his breakout season with two tackles at or behind the line of scrimmage, while fellow interior lineman DeForest Buckner had a solid game of his own. The Colts held the Ravens to -.17 expected points added per play on the ground, but Baltimore made just enough plays through the air to get the job done.

Quarterback Lamar Jackson had just four incompletions on his 23 attempts, including a 4-for-6 effort on 10-plus yard throws. The key sequences in the game both came on fourth downs. Late in the third quarter, the Ravens converted a fourth-and-3 on a run by running back J.K. Dobbins. They went on to score on a 9-yard quarterback keeper from Jackson, his longest rush of the day.

The Colts had a fourth-down attempt of their own on the Baltimore 16-yard line while trailing by 11. Rivers got hit during his throwing motion and the pass fell incomplete, all but sealing the game for the Ravens — who tacked on another field goal to ensure the two-touchdown win.

Baltimore won out in the defensive struggle, making key plays at the right time while being aided by a fumble return for a touchdown. 

Nov 8, 2020; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Indianapolis Colts running back Jonathan Taylor (28) runs the ball against the Baltimore Ravens in the first half at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Rookie Watch

Colts running back Jonathan Taylor got into the end zone on a 1-yard score, but it was his fumble that led to the Ravens’ first touchdown. The miscue was his last carry until the middle of the fourth quarter. 

Wide receiver Michael Pittman, Jr. played 61 snaps, leading the Colts with 56 yards on four catches. All four of his receptions went for first downs, and the Colts had just five first downs through the air for the game.

Ravens running back J.K. Dobbins had just two first downs on his 12 carries, but one of them was a key fourth-down conversion. 

Linebackers Patrick Queen and Malik Harrison allowed little in coverage, though Queen missed two tackles in the run game. Interior defender Justin Madubuike had another solid outing against the run.

ELITE subscribers can view player grades, advanced statistics, positional snap counts and more in Premium Stats 2.0.

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