In a triumphant victory, Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens secured both a division title and the number one seed in the AFC. Although it remains uncertain through mathematical means whether the star quarterback has clinched the MVP award, the fervent support of his fans left no doubt about their sentiments on the matter. Accompanied by a continuous chorus of “MVP!” chants, Jackson showcased his prowess by amassing 321 passing yards and delivering five touchdowns, leading the Ravens to a resounding 56-19 triumph over the Miami Dolphins on Sunday. This marked Baltimore’s first AFC North title since 2019, a year in which Jackson himself was honored with the MVP title, and now he appears to be in contention for that prestigious accolade once again.
Jackson completed –
The statistical record concurred with the exceptional performance. Jackson completed 18 out of 21 passes without encountering any interceptions, concluding with an impeccable passer rating of 158.3.
Having faced setbacks due to injuries in the previous two Baltimore seasons, Jackson is now in a position where the Ravens could opt to give him rest in the upcoming week. However, Harbaugh remained noncommittal on that decision.
With a current record of 13-3, Baltimore has secured six consecutive victories, navigating through a challenging December schedule that included matchups against the Rams, Jaguars, 49ers, and Dolphins.
Expressing his admiration, Harbaugh remarked, “I don’t know if I’ve witnessed a more impressive performance in a single game. I’m uncertain if I’ve observed a more remarkable performance over the course of a season thus far.” He acknowledged that despite the team’s achievements, there is still a significant amount of work ahead for this mature football team, which will enjoy a first-round bye before commencing the postseason at home.
Miami Dolphins –
Miami (11-5) is also postseason bound, but now the winner of next weekend’s Dolphins-Bills game will take the AFC East. Miami was without two offensive stars in receiver Jaylen Waddle (ankle) and running back Raheem Mostert (knee, ankle).
And now the Dolphins face another potentially significant injury. Linebacker Bradley Chubb — with his team down 30 points — had to be carted off with 3:05 remaining after hurting his knee.
That raised obvious questions about why Chubb was still in the game.
“There’s times like this one where I would like a time machine for sure,” Miami coach Mike McDaniel said.
Jackson had more touchdown passes than incompletions. That’s a feat Miami’s Tua Tagovailoa also accomplished in a 70-20 win over Denver in Week 3.
2019 game against Miami –
In the 2019 game against Miami, Jackson achieved a flawless passer rating, a feat shared only with Tom Brady against Detroit, making them the sole quarterbacks to achieve two perfect ratings against the same team with a minimum of 20 attempts.
Ravens linebacker Patrick Queen expressed admiration for Jackson, stating, “I love the guy. He proved everything he had to prove. If anybody else is saying otherwise, they just don’t like Lamar. That’s what it is. They don’t like us, they don’t like Baltimore, they don’t like Lamar.”
The match-up showcased Miami’s top-ranked scoring offense against Baltimore’s leading scoring defense. Initially, the Dolphins gained the upper hand by scoring on the game’s opening drive with an 8-yard pass from Tagovailoa to Cedrick Wilson Jr. However, Jackson responded with a 20-yard scoring strike to Justice Hill.
Miami could have secured another touchdown on their second drive, but Tyreek Hill’s bobbled ball in the end zone led to a field goal instead. The Ravens claimed the lead in the second quarter as Gus Edwards concluded an 89-yard drive with a 1-yard scoring run. Following another Miami field goal, Jackson swiftly connected with Zay Flowers for a 75-yard touchdown, solidifying the Ravens’ lead at 21-13.
The Ravens extended their lead 94 seconds later with a sequence of impressive one-handed catches. The initial one came from Roquan Smith, intercepting the ball, followed by Isaiah Likely’s 35-yard catch-and-run touchdown on a crucial fourth-and-7 play.
The second half commenced with Justice Hill’s remarkable 78-yard kickoff return, setting the stage for Jackson to connect with Likely for a 7-yard touchdown pass, bringing the score to 35-13.
Reflecting on the previous season’s encounter when Miami rallied from a 35-14 deficit with under 13 minutes remaining to secure a 42-38 victory, Jackson emphasized the importance of finishing the game strong. Despite the Dolphins starting the fourth quarter with a touchdown (a 1-yard pass from Tagovailoa to De’Von Achane), it was the Ravens who closed out the game decisively.
Jackson orchestrated another scoring drive, culminating in a 4-yard pass to Patrick Ricard, increasing their lead to 42-19. Subsequently, Melvin Gordon III contributed a 7-yard touchdown run, and a Miami fumble led to yet another touchdown. Tyler Huntley sealed the victory with a scoring pass to Charlie Kolar on third-and-goal from the 19-yard line.
Huntley’s lone pass attempt resulted in a flawless 158.3 passer rating for him. Tagovailoa expressed the team’s intent to analyze the game film, identify areas for improvement, and then shift focus to the upcoming matchup against the Bills, emphasizing that their goals as a team are still within reach.
Regarding streaks and milestones
Regarding streaks and milestones, the Ravens maintained their ground game by rushing for over 100 yards for the 32nd consecutive game and secured a sack for the 37th straight game. Jackson achieved a notable milestone by reaching 800 yards rushing in the season, marking the third time a quarterback has accomplished this in NFL history. The game witnessed the Ravens posting their second-highest scoring total in franchise history, second only to their 2019 victory over Miami with a score of 59-10. Additionally, Tyreek Hill surpassed 10,000 career receiving yards.
In terms of injuries, both teams experienced setbacks from the start, with Miami losing CB Xavien Howard to a foot injury, and Baltimore’s CB Marlon Humphrey suffering a calf injury. Ravens players NT Michael Pierce and S Daryl Worley were also evaluated for head injuries during the course of the game.