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The most impressive numbers from the Ravens' eight-game winning streak

The most impressive numbers from the Ravens' eight-game winning streak

For the first time in the history of the Baltimore Ravens, the team has started a season 10-2. The driving force behind their start? A franchise-record eight-game winning streak.

The streak, extended to eight games thanks to an ugly, wet win over the San Francisco 49ers Sunday afternoon, surpasses the seven-game streak set by the 2000 Ravens, who went on to win the team’s first Super Bowl that season.

Will the Ravens repeat history and take home the Lombardi Trophy in February? It’s too soon to tell, but regardless, this streak has been one for the ages.

The Ravens have been enjoying their success, though Lamar Jackson points out the franchise has been feared in the past too.

“We’re just a strong team,” Jackson told reporters. “Ever since I was growing up, that’s what the Ravens have been - a team that’s hard to beat. A lot of people wanted to beat the Ravens. I’m glad it’s back the same way.”

Here are some of the standout numbers from this charmed Ravens run.

271-119 point differential: The average final score for the Ravens in the last two months is a 33-14 victory. The Ravens aren’t just winning a lot of games, but they’re consistently blowing teams out in a way that’s never been seen before in the modern NFL. 

52-33 opponent record: The Ravens aren’t just beating up on the bad competition. Six of their eight wins have come against opponents with winning records, including the otherwise 10-1 49ers, 10-0 Patriots and 9-1 Seahawks. In fact, if you remove the two games against the Bengals, the Ravens’ opponents’ combined record in this stretch is a remarkable 50-11. And the Ravens still outscored the six remaining teams 199-189.

Lamar Jackson’s three games with 100+ passing and rushing yards: Only seven players in NFL history have registered at least three career games with at least 100 yards passing and 100 yards rushing. Jackson (who has five such games in his young career, behind only Michael Vick’s eight) has recorded three of these statlines just during the last eight games alone.

Jackson’s stats in general: The breakout star’s stats have been utterly ridiculous all season long, and especially so during this streak. 67.6% completion percentage. 7.6 yards/attempt. 15 passing touchdowns. Three interceptions (all of which came in the first game of the eight-game stretch). 739 rushing yards and five more touchdowns. Jackson kicked his season off with a bang in Miami, but the last eight weeks are what elevated him to become the MVP frontrunner.

209 rushing yards per game: Not only are the Ravens going to lead the NFL in rushing yards per game (by far, considering no one else is at even 75% of their number), but they are on pace to surpass the all-time NFL record by more than 10 yards per game. To beat the all-time mark (set in 1978 by the New England Patriots) is impressive; to do it in the modern NFL is jaw-dropping.

12 punts: On drives led by Lamar Jackson, the Ravens have punted just 12 times total in the last two months. They even went three straight games without a single punt with their starting quarterback in the game, which is hard to fathom. The Ravens offense has been operating at such a high level of efficiency, Pro Bowl punter Sam Koch has barely seen the field.

Three fourth quarters: The number of final frames in which Lamar Jackson has barely played. With as comfortable leads as the Ravens have taken into so many fourth quarters, their best player hasn’t even needed to finish out their games. This is common in college football. In the NFL? It’s unheard-of.

27 percent: The Ravens’ Super Bowl title odds, according to FiveThirtyEight. This is by far the highest mark in the league, with only the Patriots (21%) and Saints (14%) owning odds even half as good as the Ravens’. 

Longtime All-Pro guard Marshal Yanda has played on a lot of top Ravens teams, including the Super Bowl champions. Even he can recognize that this type of magical run doesn’t happen too often.

“It’s special,” he replied when asked about the winning streak. “All these wins are special. Big wins, in different environments, different ways of winning. But I mean we obviously have a special team with a lot of good players playing at a high level.”

All the cliches are true. Winning is contagious. Winning cures all. Most of all, though, winning is fun.

“You take it one game at a time,” Yanda continued. “But everybody’s having a lot of fun. We’re here to win, and that’s what we’re paid to do. And when you’re winning like that, eight games in a row, it’s fun. Everybody’s having a great time. It’s competitive, playing good teams, big stages. This is why we do it. It’s why I do it.”

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Take a look at Marlon Humphrey's NFL Top 100 player ballot

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USA Today Sports Images

Take a look at Marlon Humphrey's NFL Top 100 player ballot

The NFL's Top 100 players list is always an interesting discussion point for fans. It's fun to debate who is the best of the best, especially in a sport like football.

Positions require such vastly different skills, so it's difficult to compare a running back to, say, a punter.

What also makes the list interesting is how it's compiled: by the players themselves.

We don't always get to peel back the curtain, but Ravens cornerback Marlon Humphrey was willing to share his ballot on social media once he put his votes together.

This is an especially interesting list. Humphrey resisted the urge to simply vote all Ravens, as Lamar Jackson, Ronnie Stanley and Marcus Peters are the only ones to make his top 20.

Humphrey did seem to heavily weigh players he has faced already, particularly in 2019. Of his 17 non-Ravens, 11 played against Baltimore this past season.

The cornerback clearly remembers 2018's matchup with the Saints well, as Michael Thomas and Drew Brees find themselve in his top four. He has a nice balance between offensive players he's had to defend and defensive players he can evaluate as a peer.

The divisional round loss also clearly is still weighing on his mind, with Titans running back Derrick Henry ranked sixth across all players.

Of course, according to him, the easiest choice of all was Humphrey's first.

Hard to disagree with him on that one.

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Lamar Jackson, Mark Andrews help lead AFC to victory in Pro Bowl skills competition

Lamar Jackson, Mark Andrews help lead AFC to victory in Pro Bowl skills competition

Lamar Jackson was excellent this season finding his receivers across the field en route to an MVP caliber season. 

As it turns out, he’s not so good at hitting targets that aren’t human. 

Jackson struggled in the precision passing event, an event with moving targets labeled from one to five points and scored just two total points on 17 throws. 

But Jackson’s poor performance in the first event didn’t hurt the AFC, as it won the 2020 Pro Bowl skills competition over the NFC.

“A lot of bad throws,” Jackson said of his performance in the first event. “A little wind with me. It’s all good.” 

As soon as the event aired, Jackson immediately took to Twitter.

The events that followed were: The Gauntlet, Best Hands, Thread The Needle and Dodgeball. 

Jackson and teammate Mark Andrews competed in the Best Hands and Thread The Needle competitions. 

The duo’s obvious chemistry resulted in the second-best time, 49.4 seconds, out of four total pairings. 

The next drill was another passing drill called ‘Thread The Needle,’ which Jackson fared better in. He scored 12 total points, tied for the second-best of four passers. The concept of the drill was to throw the ball past a defender guarding a wall with nine targets, each with a corresponding point total.

In the final event of the night, the AFC beat the NFC two games to zero in dodgeball — led by Jackson and Andrews’ division rival, Browns wideout Jarvis Landry.

Jackson didn’t start the night well, but thankfully for him, the next targets with numbers he’ll see will be actual receivers at the Pro Bowl on Sunday afternoon.

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