Ravens vs Buccaneers score, takeaway: Baltimore hands Tom Brady first three-game skid since 2002

Ravens vs Buccaneers score, takeaway: Baltimore hands Tom Brady first three-game skid since 2002

Thursday night was a who’s who game for the Baltimore Ravens and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Posting a 27-22 win at Tampa Bay, the Ravens went 5-3 while looking a lot like the best team in the AFC North. Conversely, the Buccaneers, now 3-5 after a third straight loss, looked like a team that had no legitimate chance to play until January.

Tampa Bay started hot before fading over the last three quarters of the game. Baltimore’s pass rush made life miserable for Tom Brady, who in the first half overtook Ben Roethlisberger as the most sacked quarterback in NFL history. It was a much better night for the visiting quarterback, as Lamar Jackson threw two touchdown passes on 27 of 38 passes. Jackson was also part of a rushing play that ran for 233 yards that helped chew up more than 38 game clock minutes.

Trailing at halftime, the Ravens took the lead on third-quarter touchdown passes from Jackson to Kenyan Drake and Isaiah Likely. Baltimore took a double-digit lead on Devin Duvernay’s 15-yard touchdown with 6:35 left, less than six minutes after the Buccaneers scored their first halftime points on a Ryan Succop field goal.

Brady briefly kept hope alive with a late touchdown pass to Julio Jones. But the Ravens clawed back the ensuing inbound kick, sealing the victory while snapping Brady’s 302-game three-game losing streak.

The Buccaneers went into halftime with a 10-3 lead after making two positions in the red zone in the first 30 minutes of the game. Tampa Bay also received a decent first half from Brady, whose 44-yard completion to Chris Godwin set up Leonard Fournette’s go-ahead touchdown midway through the first quarter.

Both teams suffered serious injuries Thursday night. The Ravens lost receiver Rashod Bateman (foot) and Mark Andrews (shoulder) in the first three quarters of the game, then lost running back Gus Edwards (hamstring) in the fourth quarter. The Bucs lost linebacker Shaquil Barrett in the second half. Barrett is feared to have suffered a torn Achilles tendon injury, via NFL media.

Here’s a look at what happened in Tampa.

Why the Ravens won

Baltimore dominated on the ground while controlling the ball for more than two-thirds of the game. Led by Edwards and Drake, Baltimore dominated on the field while overcoming first-half mistakes in the red zone. The Ravens also received big contributions from Likely and Demarcus Robinson, who combined to catch 12 of 15 targets for 141 yards.

Defensively, the Ravens blocked Brady’s and Buccaneers’ offense for most of the last three quarters of the game. Justin Houston took a sip from the fountain of youth, recording two sacks and two tackles for loss. Houston and the rest of his teammates broke up Tampa Bay’s running game while keeping Brady to just 26 of 44 assists.

Why the Buccaneers lost

Tampa Bay’s offense completely dried up after the first quarter. The unit threw five times in a row while giving their defense little to no rest. While his running game did him a disservice, Brady also failed to make several third down passes that would have kept the chains moving. Penalties, such as Fournette’s false start with the Buccaneers down 11 and facing a fourth-and-one from the 3-yard line with 4:57 to go, also plagued the Buccaneers offense.

Although their offense didn’t help them, the Buccaneers defense failed to change momentum during the second half. The unit was also unable to contain Baltimore on the outside, as the Ravens raced around and through the Tampa Bay defense.

One bright spot for the Buccaneers was the connection between Brady and Mike Evans. Evans caught 6 of 11 targets for 123 yards, including a 51-yard catch that set the Buccaneers’ first score in the second half.

Turning

Baltimore dominated the third quarter, beating Tampa Bay 14-0 and controlling the ball for nearly 13 minutes. The Ravens’ offense started the half with a 9-play, 77-yard drive that ended with Jackson’s touchdown pass to Drake.

The Ravens defense then forced a quick punt from Tampa Bay before Baltimore’s offense embarked on an 11-play, 80-yard drive that was punctuated by Jackson’s nifty touchdown pass to Likely with five seconds left in the third quarter.

Game of the game

With Andrews and Bateman out, Likely stepped up and scored a critical touchdown that put the Ravens ahead for good. The rookie tight end caught six passes for 77 yards Thursday night after making just 10 catches in the first seven games of the season.

Quotable

Jackson let some of his fans speak for him after the win. The former league MVP took advantage of a sign that hinted at his current contract situation, as Jackson plays under his fifth-year rookie option after he and the Ravens could not agree on a long-term deal over the past offseason.

And after

The Buccaneers will host the Rams in a rematch of January’s thrilling Divisional Round showdown. Like the Buccaneers, the Rams are off to a slow start this season. The defending champions went goodbye with a 3-3 record.

Baltimore travels to Baton Rouge on Nov. 7 to take on the Saints on “Monday Night Football.” Offensive injuries have plagued the Saints so far, as New Orleans is just 2-5.


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