Ravens

Ravens

The Baltimore Ravens entered Week 8 as the No. 1 scoring and No. 1 overall yards-per-game defense in the league. But If you happened to watch Week 8 matchup against the Carolina Panthers, you would have never believed that.

The Ravens' opening drive was the highlight of the 60 minutes. After that, there wasn't much too write home about as the defense couldn't stop Cam Newton and a banged up offensive line never got its footing.

Here's what you need to know from the 36-21 loss. 

— Offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg's creativity was put on display in the Ravens' opening drive. While it wasn't perfect, it was different. Ultimately the 11-play, 75-yard drive displayed both Joe Flacco and Lamar Jackson running for 13 and 17 yards respectively before Alex Collins dodged several Panthers defenders on his way to a 14-yard touchdown.

Oh, and Justin Tucker nailed the extra point. 

— With that creativity came a lot of poorly executed gadget plays. On a third-and-1 with Jackson under center, the QB ran to his right then attempted a pass to a wide-open Willie Snead. What could have been a huge third-down conversion fell short solely because of a bad throw. That play was followed up by a successful fake punt that was overturned due to an illegal formation penalty. The good field position given to the Panthers after the call resulted in a Christian McCaffrey touchdown to tie the game at seven.

— Running back Alex Collins had his third fumble in eight games. That fumble resulted in a touchdown as well. While the Ravens have typically benched Collins after fumbling, their leading rusher was right back on the field their next drive. He was a vital piece of their late third-quarter touchdown and finished the day with 11 rushing attempts for 49 yards and one touchdown.

 

— Former Maryland Terrapin wide receiver D.J. Moore gave the Ravens defense trouble all day long. The first-round draft pick finished the day 5-of-6 for 90 yards in addition to 39 rushing yards. 

— The troubles for the Ravens defense didn't stop there. With the Panthers threatening in the red zone, safety Eric Weddle deflected Cam Newton's pass intended for Devin Funchess, but McCaffrey was right there ready to make the diving catch in the end zone to put the Panthers up 21-7. The Ravens' No.1 overall defense gave up 21-points in the first half alone after entering Week 8 allowing just 14.4 points-per-game. 

— The Ravens ended the first half in embarrassing fashion. With five seconds on the clock, backup quarterback Taylor Heinicke found Greg Olsen all alone on the left side of the field for a 13-yard gain before running out of bounds. That set up a 54-yard field goal from Graham Gano with two seconds left in the half and the Panthers went into the locker room at halftime up 24-7.

— The defense was unable to lock up Cam Newton for the entire 60 minutes after Eric Weddle described him as a "fast dinosaur" earlier in the week. Newton finished the day 21-of-29 for 219 yards and two touchdowns. He added 52 rushing yards and one rushing touchdown as well.

— A bright spot late in the game was Jackson's 22-yard touchdown pass to tight end Hayden Hurst. The Ravens' two first-round draft picks provided a glimpse into the future as that was Jackson's first touchdown pass and Hurst's first touchdown catch.

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