What We Learned

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2022 NFL season, Week 8: What We Learned from Ravens' win over Buccaneers on Thursday night

Baltimore Ravens
2022 · 5-3-0
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2022 · 3-5-0


  1. Ravens got out of character in the first half before turning it around. For a minute now, “Ravens Football” has been synonymous with running the ball. Not every play. Not in every critical situation. But it has been the foundation of the offense that (theoretically) has been tailored to Lamar Jackson’s strengths. And that’s what made the Ravens’ first-half offensive approach so confounding: They had a 32-7 pass-run ratio, counting the two sacks, and that was with Mark Andrews getting hurt early in the second quarter. It was even more shocking considering the Panthers just ran all over this Bucs defense four days earlier. Part of it was because of who the Ravens had healthy (and who they didn’t have), but you just knew it couldn’t be sustained at that pace. And what do you know? On Baltimore’s first play of the second half, Jackson took off on a zone read for 25 yards. They ran it five straight times that drive, and it ended with a game-tying touchdown. The second half was vintage Ravens offense, even if some of the names on the jerseys were quite different. It helped them deliver a big road victory in a short week.
  2. Are the Buccaneers cooked? Thursday night games tend to favor the home team because of the short week and the benefits that come with not having to travel. And make no mistake: Both teams limped into this game because of injuries and some tough recent games. But after taking a 10-3 lead, Tampa Bay looked absolutely gassed. The offense punted six straight times, a streak that started after scoring on the first two drives. And the defense allowed three touchdown drives -- the shortest of which was 77 yards -- to a Ravens offense without its top two pass-catchers and its top running back banged up. The blocking was listless. The tackling was atrocious. And the energy was nil. Then came the mental errors. Tom Brady had the Bucs inside the Ravens’ 10-yard line, down 24-13 with just under six minutes left. Two blatant penalties later and Tampa was forced to kick the field goal, and they never had a shot to win thereafter. The Bucs are 3-5 and suddenly in serious trouble. 
  3. Baltimore’s "unlikely" power source on offense. Coastal Carolina tight end Isaiah Likely was a popular study among the “Draft Twitter” hive, and it’s fair to say we can tip our hats to that crew. Back in the preseason, Likely was a standout with 12 catches for 144 yards and a score, and the thinking was that the Ravens might have the kind of two-headed TE attack they’ve nearly cornered the market on for the better part of two decades. Prior to Thursday, Likely hadn’t even surpassed his preseason receiving totals through seven games. But in this game, he looked like a future star, catching six of his seven targets for 77 yards and a beautiful, back-of-the-end-zone TD. With Andrews out of the game early in the second quarter, Likely emerged. Once Andrews returns to the field, we would love to see more “12 personnel” packages with Likely and Andrews running routes together. It might someday be the next great Ravens duo at the position.
  4. Tom Brady missed some layups on Thursday. Brady’s nightmare season rolled along Thursday. Had you not watched a single play of the game and merely looked at his stat line (26 of 44 passing, 325 yards, TD) you might assume the Bucs killed themselves with penalties and turnovers. But they really didn’t. And this game, of course, was not all about Brady’s execution. But his propensity for missing layup throws is almost stunning. You watch something look so automatic for so long, and it just becomes bizarre. There was the overthrow to a wide-open Mike Evans in the end zone early in the game. Throwing the ball into the turf in the third quarter, a solid four yards in front of his target. Then there were back-to-back plays in the fourth quarter: an overthrow to Kyle Rudolph in the end zone followed immediately by a misfire to Evans (whom Brady wanted to do something else on the route, apparently) on the goal line. Prior to the Bucs’ final TD drive, Brady was 1 for 5 on red-zone throws. And now he’s amid his first three-game losing streak since 2002. A long year getting longer.
  5. Tough night for injuries for both teams. If you’ve followed either the Bucs or Ravens this season, or both perhaps, you’re well aware that neither team has had much luck in the injury department. Really, since before the season. Well, Thursday only made things worse. The Bucs lost Bucs OLB Shaquil Barrett to an Achilles injury, and the speed with which he was ruled out made it all the more concerning. The Ravens had it worse during the game. WR Rashod Bateman (foot) and TE Mark Andrews (shoulder) were both ruled out, and RB Gus Edwards (hamstring) never came back in after leaving the field in the fourth quarter. The Ravens somehow got better after the slew of injuries, but the Bucs certainly did not after losing Barrett.

Next Gen stat of the game: Devin Duvernay reached a top speed of 20.19 mph on his 15-yard TD run, the third time Duvernay has reached 20-plus mph as a ball carrier this season. Only Tyreek Hill (four) has reached 20-plus mph more times this season.

NFL Research: Isaiah Likely's 77 receiving yards against Tampa Bay were the most by a rookie tight end in a prime-time game since his teammate Mark Andrews in Week 16, 2018 (had 83 receiving yards vs Chargers).

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