The Baltimore Ravens managed to get the job done in Week 16, as they take on the Atlanta Falcons (5-10) on Christmas Eve. However, the Ravens pulled out a crucial 17-9 victory to move to 10-5 on the season. This marks the ninth time that John Harbaugh has led the Ravens to 10 or more wins in his 15 seasons as head coach.
The Ravens have also punched their ticket to the postseason after the Cincinnati Bengals (11-4) won their matchup with the New England Patriots (7-8). They also covered the 7-point spread on DraftKings Maryland Sportsbook.
Ravens Soars Above Falcons
The Baltimore Raven’s win against the Falcons on Saturday manifested the usual suspects, with J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards combining for 158 rushing yards, the defense maintained its dominance by not allowing any touchdowns at all, and Tyler Huntley making some expertly-executed passes.
This game wasn’t without its suspenseful moments though; Justin Tucker had a field goal attempt blocked for the fourth time this season and late in the second quarter it looked as if hope was lost for a wide receiver touchdown again until Demarcus Robinson miraculously hauled in Tyler Huntley’s pitch — capping off what can only be described as a full-circle moment.
The team brought incredible defensive form against the Falcons on Monday. Patrick Queen and Roquan Smith made a powerhouse team at linebacker, recording 24 tackles in total between them. Queen also sacked the Falcons’ quarterback Desmond Ridder and forced two tough quarterback hits.
That strength came through when they needed it most – halfway through the fourth quarter, their powerful goal-line stand kept Ridder from running into the red zone, meaning the Falcons had to settle for a field goal instead.
As long as these two defenders continue putting on high-shine performances such as this one, it’s difficult to imagine any team getting past them in future games. It may not be a dominant win, but still a successful evening for the Ravens.
What’s Next for the Ravens?
With the Ravens’ playoff berth secure, Baltimore can now look ahead to their Week 18 matchup with the Bengals. Not only will this week decide the rival’s season-long series, which is currently split at one game apiece, but it also has huge implications for the AFC North title race.
Cincinnati took a slim lead in that regard by picking up a win last week and if they can pull off another victory against Baltimore, the division crown will be theirs. However, much of that hinges on the health of quarterback Lamar Jackson. If the 6′ 2″ QB can suit up for the big game, then we could very well see a classic showdown between these two sides that decides who walks away as the champ of the AFC North.