Baltimore Sun reporters, columnists and editors share their immediate thoughts on the Ravens' game against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 15 at M&T Bank Stadium.
Jeff Zrebiec, reporter: I guess the important thing was that the Ravens survived and picked up another victory in what they hope will be a postseason run. But it wasn't exactly an impressive performance and the Ravens have more questions than answers going forward. The secondary took another hit with what appears to be season-ending injuries to Asa Jackson and Terrence Brooks. The offense couldn't run the football or get into a rhythm. And other than the early blocked punt return for a touchdown, the special teams played one of its worst games in years. A similar performance will likely result in a loss next week in Houston. But the important thing is that the Ravens picked up a win and kept pace with the Bengals and Steelers, I guess ...
Aaron Wilson, reporter: Despite a lackluster effort in which the Ravens displayed a lack of intensity and were routinely outhit and outcoached by the 2-12 Jacksonville Jaguars, they still managed to pull out an ugly, 20-12 win behind eight sacks of rookie quarterback Blake Bortles. The victory keeps the Ravens relevant in the playoff race and was achieved despite losing yet another cornerback, as Asa Jackson injured his right knee and was replaced by Rashaan Melvin. The Ravens' special teams were brutally bad, failing to field an onside kick and allowing a fake punt for a first down. Pro Bowl kicker Justin Tucker missing two 54-yard field goal attempts, including one after a high snap by Kevin McDermott, and another that ricocheted off the left goalpost following an inexplicable delay of game penalty. The Ravens had absolutely no semblance of a running game until the final minutes. The Ravens looked confused at times, flat at others, but still pulled out the win and boosted their record to 9-5 with two games remaining.
Jon Meoli, reporter: The Ravens didn't show much initiative in this one. Luckily, Jacksonville didn't have the ability to make them pay. The pass rush, as it often does against bad quarterbacks with bad offensive lines, showed up when it mattered and forced field goals and punts all afternoon. But in the type of game the Ravens should have dominated with one of the league's top rushing offenses, the ground game never got going and the Ravens had to make it work through the air. They did, but no one is going home and bragging to his wife about this one.
Childs Walker, reporter: Just accept the win and don't squander any time thinking about the how. This was a rough, rough effort against one of the worst teams in the NFL. Ill-timed penalties, two missed field goals by Justin Tucker, more injuries to the secondary, a lost fumble. The mishaps went on and on. Only a remarkable pass rush saved them in the end. But 20-12 is the same as 40-12 in the final reckoning. And the Ravens held serve in a fierce playoff race. Really, don't think anymore about it.
Mike Preston, columnist: This was not the type of performance you'd expect from a serious playoff contender.
Peter Schmuck, columnist: Give the Ravens credit for giving their fans a chance to sit on the edge of their seats in a game that never should have been close. They should have been off to the races after scoring an early touchdown on a blocked punt, but found a way to trail at the half and give the hapless Jags the ball at midfield with a chance to win in the final minutes. All's well that ends well, but this came too close to ending their playoff hopes.
Ron Fritz, sports editor: Another example of the Ravens playing down to their competition – or is it? After getting a blocked punt for a touchdown, the special teams were atrocious. An onside kick? A fake punt? I can't believe the Ravens weren't prepared for the trickeration. But a win is a win, and the Ravens still have a chance to make the playoffs. But they won't be seeing any rookie quarterbacks there.