NFL News & Analysis

5 things we learned from the Baltimore Ravens' Week 15 win over the Jaguars

2TDEB64 Baltimore Ravens tight end Isaiah Likely, left, catches a touchdown pass as he is defended by Jacksonville Jaguars safety Andrew Wingard (42) in the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 17, 2023, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

• The playoffs are confirmed: The Ravens' Week 15 victory over the Jaguars puts them in the postseason for the second year in a row.

• New injury concerns arise: Running back Keaton Mitchell suffered a season-ending knee injury, and other players picked up knocks and could miss Week 16 against the San Francisco 49ers.

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The Baltimore Ravens moved to 11-3 with a win over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday Night Football in Week 15.

They confirmed their spot in the playoffs and are now on the cusp of winning the AFC North, although new injury concerns have cropped up.

Here are the five things we learned from the team's 23-7 victory.

Lamar Jackson is Houdini

Jackson earned an 85.4 PFF grade against the Jaguars, his third-best mark of the season. He didn’t get to that grade by torching Jacksonville through the air, though. His 171 passing yards were his second fewest in 2023. Instead, he made things happen when plays broke down.

Jackson had five plays where he passed the ball or crossed the line of scrimmage 6.5 seconds or more after the ball had been snapped. He attempted three passes, completing all three for 47 yards, including a big play to tight end Isaiah Likely late in the third quarter. He also scrambled twice, picking up a first down on one and turning a second-and-10 into a third-and-1 on the other.

His three completions on those plays weren’t just the most in the NFL this week, they were more than the rest of the league combined. His ability to extend plays was key to the Ravens' offensive success.

Keaton Mitchell‘s injury hurts chunk-play ability in running game

In losing Mitchell to a season-ending knee injury in Week 15, the Ravens will be without PFF’s highest-graded running back since Week 7. That’s not to say they’ve lost the best running back in the league — a smaller sample size has boosted Mitchell’s grade — but it’s clear that he is a big-play threat every time he touches the ball.

In that same span, he turned 25.5% of his 47 rushing attempts into carries of 10 or more yards, 6.7 percentage points higher than the next-best running back. Over the full season, his rate is 20.0 and 19.6 percentage points higher than Gus Edwards and Justice Hill’s explosive run rates, respectively.

The Ravens can and will run the ball effectively without Mitchell, but they don’t have another running back on the roster who can generate big plays with the same consistency.

Highest-Graded NFL RBs Since Week 7
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Isaiah Likely is stepping up in Mark Andrews’ absence

Tight end Mark Andrews likely season-ending injury suffered in a Week 11 win over the Cincinnati Bengals was a significant development, but thanks to the emergence of backups at the position, the Ravens' offense has continued to score.

In the three games since that injury, Isaiah Likely leads the team with 193 receiving yards, trails only Odell Beckham Jr. on the team with an average of 1.82 yards per route run and is tied with Beckham for second on the team with 17 targets. Charlie Kolar has seen only two targets since Andrews’ injury but has turned each into first-down receptions for 13 and 15 yards.

Odafe Oweh’s best game of the season

While Oweh is having a career year in his third NFL season, he struggled to make much of an impact in Weeks 12 and 14. That changed on Sunday night, with the 31st overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft putting together his best game of the campaign.

Oweh rushed the passer 28 times and, despite not recording any sacks or hits, racked up six quarterback hurries and won another four reps that didn’t result in pressure. Those results gave him a 21.4% pressure rate, which led all Ravens defenders with 10-plus pass-rushing snaps in the game, and a 35.7% pass-rush win rate, which ranked third in the league in Week 15.

Keep an eye on Marcus Williams‘ injury

Williams missed the entire second half in Week 15 after picking up an injury on the final drive of the second quarter, which he ended by tackling Parker Washington in bounds to prevent Jacksonville from scoring as time expired.

Williams has five pass breakups over the past four games, earning a 70.0 PFF coverage grade or better in each of them, but his loss isn’t just felt by what he does at free safety. It’s also felt in the Ravens' necessary adjustments when he isn't on the field.

Kyle Hamilton lined up in the slot or box on 78.4% of his 37 first-half snaps, with the other eight coming as a deep safety. In the second half, that dropped to 60.7% of his 28 snaps. The game situation could also explain that difference, with the Jaguars forced into throwing the ball more while trailing, but this is also how the Ravens have handled Williams being out in the past.

In the six games Williams has missed in 2023, Hamilton has lined up as a free safety on 56.4% of his snaps compared to just 24.4% in the games where Williams starts with him. Hamilton is not a bad free safety, as evidenced by his pass breakup on first-and-10 with 3:53 left in the game, but he excels when lined up close to the line of scrimmage.


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