The 7-2 Baltimore Ravens are the hottest team in the NFL and will return home Sunday to take on the 6-3 Houston Texans in a game that will give the winner an inside track at a first round bye in the AFC playoff picture.
The Ravens are fresh off of their fifth straight win, a 49-13 triumph over the woeful Cincinnati Bengals last Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium. The Ravens were buoyed by another MVP caliber performance from QB Lamar Jackson and two defensive touchdowns. Jackson was 15-17 woth 223 yards and three touchdowns through the air. He also added seven carries for 65 yards including this electrifying touchdown run:
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The Baltimore Ravens notched their most impressive victory to-date last Sunday night in front of a national TV audience, downing the previously unbeaten New England Patriots 37-20 to move to 6-2 on the season.
Lamar Jackson continued his MVP-caliber season, going 17-for-23 for 163 yards and a passing touchdown to tight end Nick Boyle, the first of his NFL career. Jackson added 16 carries for 61 yards and two scores on the ground. For the second time this season, Jackson was named NFL Offensive Player of the Week and responded to that individual accolade as only Lamar could:
Jackson continues to worry most about his team accomplishments rather than focusing on the individual achievements and which awards he might be tracking towards this season. Jackson has firmly ensconced himself in the MVP race with 2,450 total yards, 17 touchdowns, and five interceptions so far this season. The attention continues to make him uncomfortable:
Whether Jackson likes it or not, the NFL has taken notice of his ascent to superstardom. To me, his most attractive trait is his unending desire to get better and his overall humility and hunger for greatness.
The Ravens will need both of these traits to shine through this weekend as they head to Cincinnati to take on an 0-8 Bengals that made a quarterback change during their bye week. Andy Dalton has hit the bench and rookie quarterback Ryan Finley will be under center for the Bengals as they look for their first win of the season.
Here’s what to watch for ahead of Sunday’s AFC North titlt.