Ravens Hold Off Bucs Without Their Star Tight End

Ravens Hold Off Bucs Without Their Star Tight End

The Ravens had an early matchup with Tom Brady and the Bucs on Thursday night in Tampa Bay. For Baltimore, they wanted to get Mark Andrews going early, but they were unable to after Andrews left the game in the first half with what appeared to be a shoulder injury. According to Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com, both his injury this week and the ankle injury last week are “minor.”

Surprisingly, it would be the special teams that would propel the Ravens to score after their first unsuccessful drive. Sam Koch, the Ravens punter pinned the Bucs near their 10-yard line and the punt returner bobbled the ball. This allowed one of the Ravens’ special teams players to scoop up the ball in the red zone. While that only led to a field goal, it was the first score of the game and a much-needed one.

The reason for this is because the next drive for Tampa Bay led to a short touchdown run by Leonard Fournette. Then, the Bucs’ defense would get a stop and score again, but this time in the form of a 31-yard field goal. All the scoring came in the first quarter until Justin Tucker had a chance at a 61-yard field goal right before halftime, but had it blocked.

It would be the third and fourth quarters where the Ravens would thrive, unlike in the weeks prior where all the scoring would come in the first half. With around nine minutes left in the third quarter, Lamar would find Kenyan Drake for about a five-yard catch and run for a touchdown. The next score would come from the night’s unlikely hero, Isaiah Likely. The Ravens’ fourth-round pick helped pick up where Mark Andrews left off. He recorded six catches for 77 yards and one touchdown.

Then midway through the fourth quarter, it would be Devin Duvernay with a 14-yard run for six points. With around two minutes left, Tucker would get his revenge and nail a 30-yard field goal to get the Ravens to 27 points. After halftime, the defense shined, holding Tom Brady to only one touchdown and it came with 50 seconds left and Baltimore was up by 11 points. The Bucs tried to go for two to cut the lead to three, but the defense held their own and the special teams recovered the onside kick easily.

Lamar Jackson had a great game as his completion rate was 27/38 for 238 yards and two touchdowns. Demarcus Robinson, one of the Ravens’ receivers had a larger role as well with six catches for 64 yards. But the true hero as stated above was the rookie tight end Isaiah Likely who will look to have another great performance next week if Mark Andrews is a no-go. The Raven’s next game is against the Saints on Monday night as they will look to contain the star running back, Alvin Kamara, and improve to 6-3 heading into the bye week.

Featured Image Courtesy of Cliff Welch via Getty Images