Thursday Night Football Recap: Ravens run wild in 27-22 win over struggling Buccaneers

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Chris O’Meara/AP/Shutterstock (13508522br) Baltimore Ravens running back Kenyan Drake (17) is congratulated by quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) after scoring during the second half of an NFL football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, in Tampa, Fla Ravens Buccaneers Football, Tampa, United States – 27 Oct 2022

Thursday Night Football Recap: Ravens run wild in 27-22 win over struggling Buccaneers

Ravens 27, Buccaneers 22

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers entered Thursday night’s game off two straight massive upset losses, desperately needing a win to shift momentum back in the right direction. Sitting at 3-4, quarterback Tom Brady was looking to avoid losing three consecutive games for the first time since 2002, when he played for the New England Patriots. Baltimore, 4-3 despite holding double-digit leads in their three losses, had other ideas as they looked to stay a step ahead of the Bengals in the AFC North. 

The game got off to an awful start for the Bucs, who immediately made a critical mistake in the opening minutes. Baltimore’s opening drive stalled out, forcing the Ravens to punt, but two Tampa Bay players collided with each other to ruin the fair catch, resulting in the Buccaneers fumbling the football back to the Ravens deep in Tampa territory. Baltimore settled for a field goal and a 3-0 lead gifted to them by the Bucs’ special teams unit. 

Tampa Bay’s first offensive drive was a resounding success and a refreshing sight for Bucs fans who watched them fall flat on their faces all game last week at Carolina. They’d march 75 yards over eight plays, finishing it with a one-yard score by Leonard Fournette to make it 7-3. Tampa would add another field goal before the end of the first quarter, a period they’d finish off emphatically with a sack of Lamar Jackson deep in his own territory. Neither team got much going offensively in the second quarter, and Tampa Bay’s defense came up with a big stop in the final minutes to ensure their lead stayed at seven heading into the half. The big news heading into the break for the Ravens was the loss of tight end Mark Andrews, who exited in the first quarter with a shoulder injury and was ruled out for the game. 

The two teams exchanged punts to begin the third quarter, but the Ravens’ offense began to click on their second possession of the half. Baltimore matriculated downfield with a good mix of pass and run plays, eventually punching in a game-tying touchdown on a short pass to running back Kenyan Drake with 9:05 to go in the third. The Ravens moved down the field with ease again the next time they touched the ball, this time going 80 yards in 11 plays, capped by a 10-yard Isaiah Likely touchdown for a 17-10 advantage. 

Tampa Bay finally hit a big play early in the fourth quarter, a 51-yard pass to Mike Evans deep into Baltimore territory – but three plays later, they’d settle for another field goal to pull within four with 12 minutes to play. The beat went on for Baltimore from there, though, as an end-around to Devin Duvernay would go for a 15-yard touchdown and a 24-13 lead on the ensuing drive. After a 40-yard pass interference penalty put the Bucs in Baltimore territory again on their next drive, they’d settle once more as Ryan Succop converted his third field goal of the night to make it 24-16. Justin Tucker added another Ravens’ field goal before the two-minute warning, all but putting the game away at 27-16. Tampa Bay would put together a desperation touchdown drive in the final seconds, but Baltimore recovered the onside kick to seal the win.

Outside of the big throw to Evans and the pass interference penalty late in the game, the Bucs’ struggling offense continued to look stagnant from the second quarter onward. The game was the opposite of what the Ravens have done much of the season, as it was the second half instead of the first, where they produced most of their offensive production. Baltimore finished with 231 yards rushing on the night, a physically dominating performance that moved them to 5-3 and into first place alone in the AFC North. 
Next Week: Baltimore: at New Orleans, Tampa Bay: vs. LA Rams

Related Posts:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *