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By: Frank Platko
The Baltimore Ravens won their fifth consecutive home game in Week 16, defeating the Atlanta Falcons by a score of 17-9. In grinding out a victory to improve to 10-5, the Ravens clinched a playoff berth and kept their hopes of winning the division alive.
Who were some of the team’s standout performers from the Christmas Eve performance? Let’s run through a few game ball candidates — be sure to vote for your choice below!
A couple days removed from earning a Pro Bowl selection, Marlon Humphrey had another Pro Bowl-caliber performance on Sunday. Humphrey was responsible for arguably the most important play of the afternoon when he forced a fumble in the second quarter.
On fourth down, Drake London secured a 20-yard catch-and-run to give the Falcons an apparent conversion. Then, Humphrey perfectly punched the ball loose from London’s possession and Patrick Queen promptly corralled it. This was Humphrey’s vintage “fruit punch” to perfection.
However, it was also his first forced fumble since Week 7 of the 2021 season. Following this takeaway, the Ravens went on a 13-play, 70-yard drive and scored a touchdown to take a two-possession lead. Humphrey ceded some receptions to London aside from this play but played his usual tough coverage and made sideline-to-sideline plays.
Since his backfield mate J.K. Dobbins returned to the lineup, Gus Edwards has picked up steam over the past two weeks. Edwards’ momentum continued today and hit an apex with his best performance of the season to-date.
Edwards rushed for a season-high 99 yards on 11 carries, highlighted by a 37-yard run in the fourth quarter that set up a key field goal. He had a couple other double-digit yardage gains earlier and sealed the Ravens’ clock eating efforts with a late first down conversion.
Whereas he took a backseat to Dobbins the previous two games, Edwards was the driving force in the Ravens’ rushing attack today. His 99 yards were more than Dobbins and Tyler Huntley combined, as he accounted for more than half of the team’s 184 total rushing yards.
Over the past three games, including today’s effort, Edwards has turned 31 carries into 220 rushing yards, good for a wildly efficient 7.0 yards per carry.
Week after week, Roquan Smith continues to leave his imprint on games. The now first-time Pro Bowler had a game-high 15 total tackles and one tackle-for-loss. He routinely was around the ball as per usual and made key stops in the run game. Smith’s instincts in tracking down ball-carriers and ability to cover ground were on display again.
Like Smith, Patrick Queen had another stat sheet-stuffing game while demonstrating a lot of the same qualities. Queen finished second on the team in total tackles while also being credited for a half-sack, pass defense and two quarterback hits. Queen was in on several stops in the run game in tandem with Smith and others, and recovered Humphrey’s forced fumble in the second quarter.
Originally posted on Baltimore Beatdown – All Posts