American Football

Ravens vs. Falcons final: MVP, 9 Winners & 4 Losers


NFL: Atlanta Falcons at Baltimore Ravens
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Taking stock of the team following their victory over the Falcons

The Baltimore Ravens (10-5) eclipsed double digit wins, clinched a playoff berth and sent the Atlanta Falcons (5-10) home with lumps of coal, hanging on to a 17-9 win.

MVP: Gus Edwards

The Gus Bus piled on the yardage in the fourth quarter as he helped move the chains for a game-winning first down, finishing with 11 carries for 99 yards. His vision, cuts and physicality show just how invigorated Edwards has been the longer the season’s gone with more distance separating him from last season’s injury. Edwards rocked the Falcons defense, gashing them for gains of 37, 14, and two 11-yard carries.


Offensive Line — Give all the big guys credit for going out there and helping to run the ball for 185 yards and keep quarterback Tyler Huntley from being sacked once. A dominant performance out of the line.

J.K. Dobbins — Early on, Dobbins showed his effectiveness cutting and slashing through the tackles and churning up yardage. He finished with 12 carries for 59 yards (4.9 ypc).

Demarcus Robinson — For the first time since Week 3, a Ravens wide receiver has caught a touchdown pass. It’s been far too long and it’s nice to see somebody in a Ravens uniform in the end zone for once.

Sammy Watkins — Show up on Tuesday and make a 40-yard play on Saturday. Welcome back, Watkins.

Tyler Huntley — A backup leading a team to a victory is still a dub. It helps that Huntley got his first passing touchdown of the season. He also helped move the chains on the ground, going for 29 yards on eight carries (negating kneels).

Roquan Smith — Each week, Smith demonstrates further what value the Ravens saw in him and what more he has for the Ravens. Today, it was 15 tackles, one tackle for loss. More in-depth, he was a part of the goal line stand which ceased Falcons running back Cordarrelle Patterson from finding the end zone.

Patrick Queen — The second half of the Patterson stop was Queen, who continues to demonstrate how fast and effective he can be when combined with Smith. Queen ended today’s contest with nine tackles, a half-sack, two quarterback hits, a pass defensed and a fumble recovery.

Marlon Humphrey — The standout cornerback was tasked with defending one hell of a rookie in wide receiver Drake London and when he gave up a grab on fourth down he nuked the football from London with a trademark Fruit Punch. Each time the Falcons had the end zone within their grasp, these Raven defenders changed the outcome.

Isaiah Mack — Called up on Friday and made a goal line tackle in the middle of the defense a day later. Mack’s been a grinder on the practice squad all season and showed up on Saturday.


Red Zone Offense — One touchdown in four trips to the red zone isn’t going to cut it, and not giving Edwards or Dobbins in those situations is baffling. Choosing to run it with Huntley is a concerning recipe, especially with Huntley’s propensity to take hits.

Mark Andrews — By no fault of his own, Andrews has a new career-long touchdown drought of eight games, surpassing his seven game drought in his rookie year. Andrews has been open on several occasions, including in this game where Huntley didn’t throw his way. Andrews was visibly frustrated both on the field in the end zone and on the sideline speaking to Huntley afterward. According to Andrews, though, it’s just him being competitive.

“Just competitive,” Andrews said. “Just trying to win, make plays and help this team win. That’s all I’m trying to do. That’s just fiery, competitiveness, just playing ball.”

Jordan Stout — This may be unfair but the punt game just hasn’t lived up to the fourth round selection. I assume, though, the balls today were sub zero and kicking bricks make it a challenge but under a 40 yard average with a 36-yard punt in the fourth quarter when the Falcons are attempting to mount a comeback isn’t ideal.

Late-Game Play Calling — The Ravens got the ball back up two possessions with 6:39 remaining in the fourth quarter. The first two plays were Gus Edwards going for 14 yards, and then one yard. Then, Huntley fired two incomplete passes on second and third down, which stopped the clock and allowed the Falcons to get the ball back with 4:59 remaining. The run game was moving the football and though Edwards only gained one yard on first down, giving him an opportunity to gain ground makes more sense. At minimum, you burn more clock. I wasn’t alone in my thinking.

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