The Ravens’ first regular season loss in nearly 365 calendar days came at the hands of Patrick Mahomes, one of the best offensive play-callers in the sport and missed offensive opportunities from everyone on the field.
In a 34-20 loss to the Chiefs, the Ravens dropped to 2-1 after one of their worst performances with Lamar Jackson at quarterback.
There wasn’t much good, there was a whole lot of bad and even some ugly. Here’s who’s up and who’s down:
Stock up: Devin Duvernay
It seems nice to sit on a stock up.
Duvernay can absolutely fly, and he showcased his speed with a 93-yard kick return for a touchdown in the second quarter to keep the Ravens in the game.
He entered the third game of the season after 32-yards-per return in Week 1 and 18.33 in Week 2. His 93-yard return was the highlight of the night for the Ravens, whose biggest offensive play came from Duvernay.
Stock down: Situational defense
The Chiefs went 10-of-13 on third down, compared to the Ravens’ 3-of-9. In the red zone, the Chiefs went 3-for-3. The Ravens went 1-for-4.
All night long, the Ravens needed a few moments from their defense to step up and give the offense the football back, even for just a chance to hang more points on the board. Instead, Mahomes kept the football and controlled the pace of the game.
Stock down: Pass defense
It’s hard to find silver linings when the opposing quarterback throws for 385 yards to eight different receivers, a list that includes his left tackle.
Mahomes threw for four touchdowns, ran for another and was utterly dominant from start to finish as the Chiefs shredded the Ravens’ secondary.
Through a mix of short and deep passing plays, the Ravens struggled to find the right combination of coverages and blitzes to slow down the Chiefs. Even on plays like the touchdown to Tyreek Hill, when cornerback Marcus Peters played good coverage, Mahomes’ passes were so on-point there was almost nothing that could be done.
Stock up: Andy Reid/Eric Bieniemy
The Chiefs came into M&T Bank Stadium with a bag of offensive tricks. When they departed, that bag was nearly empty.
They ran screens, fake screens, double screens, fake double screens, reverses, reverse passes, and just about every combination of playcalling imaginable. At one point, they even lined up with four receivers stacked in a row on the left side of the formation.
“We were expecting it, we just didn’t handle it very well,” coach John Harbaugh said. “I thought what they did was really good; a lot of misdirection, jet screens, ghost motions, Casper motions, as we call them, screens, double screens, the crossing routes off of that, passes off of that, draws off of that. It was just a really well-executed gameplan. It’s a lot of stuff they did that caused us a lot of problems.”
The Chiefs’ second touchdown, a five-yard pass to Anthony Sherman, was perhaps the prettiest play of the night. Hill lined up as the running back, as the play looked to be a rollout pass for Mahomes. Instead, he flipped an underhand pass to his fullback who walked in for the score.
Even from the first touchdown, when the Ravens had everything covered, Mahomes was able to waltz into the endzone untouched.
Stock down: The pass rush
The Ravens simply didn’t get any pressure on Mahomes.
They had just four quarterback hits and no sacks on the quarterback they needed to get after most, as even dialed up pressure couldn’t save them Monday.
While the pass rush was a negative for one game, it’s slowly becoming an issue that requires watching as the games go by.
Matthew Judon, Pernell McPhee and Derek Wolfe have yet to register a sack. Through three games, just four of the team’s sacks have come from the front seven.
Stock down: The entire offense
It’s easier to just lump the entire offense into one big negative.
Jackson was just 15-of-28 passing for 97 yards, though he had 83 yards on the ground. His leading receiver, running back J.K. Dobbins, had just four catches for 38 yards. There were drops, including one by the usually sure-handed Mark Andrews, that would’ve led to a score, but instead hit the ground.
After a strong first drive, the Ravens’ offense shutdown until it was able to grind out a touchdown on the first play of the fourth quarter to cut the lead to seven. Otherwise, two Justin Tucker field goals was all it could muster.
Jackson was sacked four times for the second-straight game, as for about 55 minutes, nothing offensively went right.