Ravens

Ravens

BALTIMORE — For the second straight season, the Ravens will have at least one home playoff game. 

The Ravens earned a dominating 42-21 win over the Jets on Thursday at M&T Bank Stadium, clinching the team’s division crown for the second year in a row. 

Here are a few players whose stocks are up and down after the win: 

Stock up: Lamar Jackson

At what point is Lamar Jackson’s stock so high, that it’s literally impossible to go down? Well, it wasn’t Thursday.

Not only did he punctuate the best rushing season an NFL quarterback has ever had, he added five passing touchdowns, too. He’s still got two games to further distance himself beyond Michael Vick’s 2006 rushing total of 1,039 yards.

Jackson added to his MVP resume with another outstanding performance in yet another blowout win. It was the third time this season he’s thrown for five touchdowns. 

He finished 15-for-23 passing with 212 passing yards and five scores. He added 86 yards on eight carries, too. Jackson was relieved of his duties by Robert Griffin III late in the fourth quarter, but only because he’d done his job so well. 

Stock up: Jimmy Smith

Jimmy Smith quietly had a good game for the Ravens tonight, a performance which included a critical pass breakup in the end zone on fourth down. 

The Ravens secondary struggled a bit in the first half, but turned things around in the second half — and the game took a big swing with Smith’s pass breakup. 

 

He finished with five tackles on the night as well.

Stock down: Special Teams

This was clearly the biggest negative on the night, and it wasn’t close. 

The Jets had excellent returns on punt and kicks, but that's not where the problems ended.

Justin Tucker missed an extra point, which is shocking for the league’s best kicker. The Ravens made up for the miss with a 2-point conversion, but the kick was still a surprising miss. 

Then, in the fourth quarter, the Jets blocked a punt and recovered the ball for a score. 

While none of the errors cost the Ravens the game, they’re still errors that need to be cleaned up.

Stock up: Mark Ingram

Ingram had another standout game, and finished with 76 yards on the ground on 13 carries. He also caught a touchdown pass from Jackson to put an exclamation point on the win. 

While Jackson’s legs carry the water, Ingram’s legs kept the offense churning all night long. 

He’s now just 37 yards away from the 1,000-yard mark on the season. 

Stock up: Chuck Clark

Chuck Clark found himself in the right spot at the right time late in the second quarter, as Sam Darnold fired an ugly interception to Clark.

Granted, Sam Darnold couldn’t have thrown a better pass to Clark. But it was still on the safety to make the catch and swing momentum.

Clark finished with just one tackle, but his INT added to his breakout year.

Stock down: Marcus Peters

One of the areas in the first half that plagued the Ravens defense was the secondary, which had numerous lapses in coverage. 

On one play, Peters got lost in coverage and Darnold just overthrew his intended target for what would’ve been a touchdown. 

Peters has played good football since he’s gotten to Baltimore, but it was tough to find in the first half.

Stock up: January Football

For the second straight season, the Ravens will have a home playoff game — courtesy of winning the AFC North. And for now, it looks like there will be more.

The Ravens can clinch a first-round bye with a Chiefs or a Patriots loss on Sunday, giving the team an extra week off. If both lose, they’ll clinch home-field advantage.

Should the Ravens win next Sunday, they’ll clinch home-field advantage no matter what the Patriots or Chiefs do this or next week. 

Right now, it appears the road to Miami through the AFC Playoffs runs through Baltimore. 

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