The Ravens began the fourth quarter of their home opener with a three-touchdown lead thanks to one of the great performances of Lamar Jackson’s career. They finished it as 42-38 losers, licking their wounds from a disastrous defensive collapse against the Miami Dolphins.

Here are five things we learned from their stunning defeat:

The Ravens don’t know where they’re headed after an epic collapse

What does one say to sum up 15 minutes of unfathomable football horror? For Ravens cornerback Marlon Humphrey, it was the recurring image of passes sailing over his head. For rookie teammate Jalyn-Armour Davis, it was the sense that no one on the Baltimore defense could find the same wavelength as they tried to stall the aqua-blue avalanche rolling their way. For coach John Harbaugh, it was the stinging realization that his team must fix its foundation in the weeks to come.

This was not the most soul-deadening home loss in franchise history. It lacked the finality of the playoff loss to the Tennessee Titans that ended the Ravens’ romp through the 2019 season. It was not marked by a single stunning play, like the 49-yard pass from Andy Dalton to Tyler Boyd that erased the Ravens’ playoff chances on the last day of the 2017 season. But for sheer whiplash, it was one for the annals.

See, this was not a tense contest for most of the afternoon. It was a party — Baltimore’s chance to shout hosannas for its sublime quarterback and its refreshed team.

For three quarters of their home opener Sunday, the Ravens told us they were a contender reborn. They scoffed at the same Dolphins defense that had smothered them last season and covered their own defensive lapses with the takeaways that were so scarce for them in 2021. Going into the game, we wondered if Miami had their number. When the score reached 35-14, it seemed the Ravens were saying no one would have their number in 2022.

Perhaps we should have read the early omens. The Ravens began with a 103-yard kickoff return. They cut off Miami’s first drive with an interception. On their first proper drive, they ran 18 plays and held the ball for nearly 11 minutes. All that, and with 10:54 to go in the second quarter, they were tied at 7.

But whatever opportunities they left on the table seemed irrelevant in the glow of Jackson’s unfolding masterpiece. His scalpel-sharp …read more

Source:: The Mercury News

      

Five things we learned from the Ravens’ 42-38 loss to the Miami Dolphins

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