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Stock up, stock down: Jackson’s legs carry Ravens to a 23-17 win over the Bengals

Stock up, stock down: Jackson’s legs carry Ravens to a 23-17 win over the Bengals

BALTIMORE — Lamar Jackson’s legs carried the way to a Ravens 23-17 win over the Bengals on Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium. 

Here are a few Ravens whose stocks are up and down after the win.

Stock up: Lamar Jackson

His legs once again stole the show as he finished with 152 yards on the ground. 

The Bengals entered the game with one of the NFL’s worst rushing defenses, and Jackson made them pay with his scrambles and shiftiness on the outside.

It was a career high in rushing yards for Jackson, who proved too much for the Bengals to handle.

Stock down: Pass rush

Cincinnati has one of the worst offensive lines in football, but it didn’t seem that way on Sunday.

The Ravens defense only had two sacks on the afternoon, on a day they should have feasted. The team's first sack came with just over three minutes left to play in the game, courtesy of Tyus Bowser. The numbers at the end of the game made the day look much better than it really was.

Stock up: Run defense

While the pass rush struggled, the Ravens' run defense was excellent. 

They allowed just 31 yards on 13 attempts, as the Bengals were mostly one-dimensional for the entire game. 

Joe Mixon, who had seen his usage ramp up in recent weeks, was held at bay the entire afternoon and only registered 10 yards on eight carries.

Stock down: The kickoff team

The Ravens opened Sunday’s game hot. After the first 12 seconds. 

Baltimore allowed Cincinnati to return the opening kick for a touchdown as the Ravens fell in an early hole. 

Despite the defense’s strong performance, the Bengals were constantly in the game thanks to the opening touchdown. After a strong performance in Pittsburgh last week, the unit saw a drop-off in week six.

Stock up: Josh Bynes

A week after Bynes intercepted a pass in Pittsburgh, he tipped an Andy Dalton pass that landed in the arms of Marlon Humphrey for an interception. 

Bynes finished with three tackles, tied for second on the defense, and the tipped pass that led to the interception.

In just his second game as a Raven, he’s already proven himself to be an incredibly valuable commodity.

Stock up: The rushing attack

Setting aside Jackson, the rest of the Ravens' rushing attack was excellent on the day as well. 

Mark Ingram had over 50 yards and a score, and Gus Edwards and Justice Hill each averaged over five yards per carry. 

As a team, the Ravens rushed for over 250 yards against a Bengals defense prone to allowing big plays. 

Stock down: Mark Andrews’ hurdling

Andrews by himself is a stock up. His hurdling, well, not so much. 

In the second quarter, Andrews tried to fly over numerous Bengals defensive backs with a hurdle. It didn’t work. 

The ball was popped out and the Bengals recovered, in what likely will be the end of Andrews’ days trying to leap over defenders.

Stock neutral: Justin Tucker

It’s literally impossible for Justin Tucker’s stock to go up any higher. He was perfect once again on his extra points and field goals. He also became the fastest kicker in NFL history to reach 1,000 points, a feat he accomplished in just 118 games. 

The NFL’s best kicker proved, once again, why he’s the best. 

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Former Ravens Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg denies wanting to move Lamar Jackson to wide receiver

Former Ravens Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg denies wanting to move Lamar Jackson to wide receiver

According to a report from former NFL general manager Michael Lombardi, former Ravens offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg wanted to move Lamar Jackson to wide receiver. 

Mornhinweg, and the Ravens, claim that’s not true. 

Tuesday morning, Mornhinweg and the Ravens released a statement that claims the conversation Lombardi reported never happened. 

“That didn’t happen,” Mornhinweg responded, according to the release. “Never said that. My thoughts before the draft, and even more when we started working with Lamar, was that this young man was going to be a special quarterback. Very early we saw that along with all of his throwing and escape abilities, he reads the field as well as any young quarterback I ever worked with.”

Mornhinweg, who was the Ravens’ offensive coordinator for three years and with the organization for four, left the organization after last season ended.

The original report from Lombardi, which was on the GM Shuffle podcasts that he hosts, stated that Mornhinweg wanted to move Jackson to wide receiver. 

“Here’s what happened,” Lombardi began. “The first time he (Lamar Jackson) comes in, Marty Mornhinweg — remember, we’re building the team around him — Marty says to the coaches, this is fact, ‘When are we gonna move him to receiver?’”

Lombardi was a scout for the 49ers and Browns before working for the Eagles, Raiders, Browns (for a second time) and the Patriots. He was the general manager and VP of the Browns in 2013-14. He currently works for The Athletic.

“Organizationally, we were on the same page with Lamar, and I thought Ozzie (Newsome) and Eric (DeCosta) did a great job to take him where we did,” coach John Harbaugh added in the release. “Marty was excited from the beginning to coach Lamar and was instrumental in helping him progress through his rookie season.”

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Ravens don't have to worry about Rob Gronkowski returning for the NFL Playoffs

Ravens don't have to worry about Rob Gronkowski returning for the NFL Playoffs

Sitting atop the AFC North and East divisions at 8-2 and 9-1 respectively, the Ravens and Patriots could face each other again in January for either the divisional round or AFC championship.

One thing is for sure -- even if Baltimore has to face the Patriots in Foxborough, the Ravens will not have to worry about crafting a game plan for retired tight end Rob Gronkowski.

The five-time Pro Bowl receiver is guaranteed to be in Miami for Super Bowl LIV, but not to play football -- instead, throwing a party off the field that he calls Gronk Beach.

Gronk told ESPN that a return to playing for the NFL is "always an option in the back of my head. It's not like I'm not staying in shape and not doing anything."

"I wouldn't say 'never coming back,'" Gronk told ESPN after announcing his Gronk Beach festival, that includes performances by Diplo, Kaskade, Rick Ross and Flo Rida. "I'm feeling good, but you know, one year off could possibly be the case. Or maybe two years off, man."

Baltimore already bloodied New England 37-20, handing the Pats their first and only loss of the season thus far when they visited M&T Bank Stadium in Week 9, but both teams should almost certainly anticipate a postseason meeting. Arguably the greatest tight end in league history, Gronk knows his team could use his talents again.

"With the offense, they're finding ways to make it work like they've always done, putting guys in the right situation to make plays," Gronkowski told ESPN about watching the Patriots games closely this season. "But man, they're missing some guy who is 6-6, 260 [pounds]," referencing himself.

Baltimore, you're in the clear this year. But that's all Gronk can guarantee.

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