The Baltimore Ravens aim to build on their four-game winning streak Sunday when they visit the struggling Jacksonville Jaguars.
Baltimore (7-3) is coming off a dominant defensive performance this past Sunday, beating the visiting Carolina Panthers 13-3. The Ravens held the Panthers to 3-of-13 on third- and fourth-down conversions, forced the Panthers into three turnovers and sacked Carolina quarterback Baker Mayfield four times.
The Ravens are second in the league in turnovers forced (19), third in fewest rushing yards allowed (864) and ninth in sacks (31). Their defense also leads the league in fewest third downs converted against, with just 38. Opposing teams convert on third downs just 32.8 percent of the time against the Ravens, a mark that is third-best in the league.
“It was a workman-like win,” Baltimore coach John Harbaugh said. “It wasn’t pretty, but our defense stepped up in a big way, controlling the run and getting the turnovers.”
Baltimore is, of course, also led by one of the best mobile quarterbacks in the game in Lamar Jackson. Against the Panthers, he completed 24-for-33 passes for 209 yards and an interception while also rushing 11 times for 31 yards and a touchdown.
Jackson leads the NFL in rushing yards per attempt with a 6.9 average. He has three rushing touchdowns this season and 16 passing scores.
The Ravens’ rushing attack could be bolstered this week by the return of running back Gus Edwards, who practiced on Wednesday. He’s been out since injuring his hamstring on Oct. 27 against Tampa Bay.
Harbaugh also said this week that tackle Ronnie Stanley (ankle) and safety Kyle Hamilton (knee) are “trending in the right direction.” Harbaugh says veteran wideout DeSean Jackson will “hopefully” be back this week and he practiced Wednesday.
Jackson, Stanley, Hamilton and tight end Mark Andrews did not practice Wednesday. Neither did guard Kevin Zeitler, defensive tackle Calais Campbell, or corners Marcus Peters and Jalyn Armour-Davis (hip). Harbaugh said Jackson is dealing with an “issue” but will play Sunday.
“Just wanted to hold him back and let him rest today,” Harbaugh said.
Campbell spoke to reporters Wednesday and is also expected to play. He played in Jacksonville (3-7) before joining the Ravens in 2020. The 36-year-old is two sacks away from having 100 in his career.
“It’s a little sentimental I guess, but really, it’s just another football game,” Campbell said. “I’ve had some success on that football field, but my mindset is to stay in the moment … For me, it’s just another opportunity to get a big win.”
The Jaguars are coming off a bye week. In their Nov. 13 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, second-year quarterback Trevor Lawrence threw a pair of touchdown passes, but was also sacked five times.
It’s been rare this season for Lawrence to be sacked that many times. Among quarterbacks who have started at least 10 games this season, only Jared Goff and Tom Brady have been sacked fewer times than Lawrence (17).
On the season, the Clemson product is completing 65.2 percent of his passes and has 13 touchdowns against only six interceptions — one season after tying for the NFL lead with 17 picks as a rookie. He also has three rushing touchdowns.
Lawrence’s improvement has led the Jaguars offense to ranking ninth in total yards this season at 362.2 per game.
“I think for us the key is playing complementary football,” Jacksonville wideout Christian Kirk said. “That’s one thing we have to do — offensively, defensively and special teams. For us, it’s putting it all together.”
Jacksonville placed linebacker K’Lavon Chaisson on the IR/Designated for Return List.