After staking the team to an early lead on a blocked punt returned for a touchdown on the game's opening drive, the Ravens' special teams unit uncharacteristically faltered.

Jacksonville's David strategies against the heavily-favored Ravens, including a successful onside kick and a converted fake punt, kept the two-win Jaguars even for much of Sunday's sluggish, 20-12 Ravens win.

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"When a team has no possibility of making the playoffs, they're the most dangerous team because they have nothing to lose," wide receiver Steve Smith said. "They were playing to win."

Entering the game, the Ravens special teams ranked among the NFL's best. That ranking appeared to be on the rise when the team's second special teams touchdown of the year gave the Ravens a quick advantage.

Jacksonville's opening drive began at the 15-yard line, and ended when a punt block play the Ravens have refined for the last six weeks was called. The Ravens' rush shaded toward the left side of Jacksonville's formation after the snap, and safety Darian Stewart beat Jacksonville's Will Ta'ufo'ou to get in alone on punter Bryan Anger.

Stewart said his eyes lit up when he saw the clear lane to Anger, and he and Kamar Aiken combined for the Ravens' first blocked punt for a touchdown since Ed Reed did it against Seattle in November 2003.

"My job on that one was to put pressure and then look for the block," Aiken said. "So, when I saw [Stewart] pop open … I'm thinking 'This can't be — this is a layup.' It was just going back to the basics, scoop and score."

"It's not an easy thing, on a run, to scoop that thing up and score," coach John Harbaugh said. "It was a great football play."

From then on, most of the great football plays in the kicking and punting game were made at the Ravens' expense. Jacksonville kicker Josh Scobee made field goals of 53, 45, and 53 yards in the game's first 19 minutes to put his team ahead, 9-7, before a perfectly executed onside kick caught the Ravens unprepared.

The kick dribbled into a space safety Jeromy Miles vacated on the left sideline, and safety Johnathan Cyprien corralled the ball to bring quarterback Blake Bortles and the offense back onto the field.

"That was going to be something that we felt they were going to do, and they got to us still," Harbaugh said. "It's not like we weren't thinking about those things, but we weren't thinking about them when they happened to us, obviously, so that's on us."

In the third quarter, the Jaguars' trickery extended another possession and kept the Ravens offense on the sideline. Anger took the snap as he normally would, then shovel-passed forward to fullback Ta'ufo'ou for a 19-yard gain and a first down.

"It was a good scheme," linebacker and veteran special teams player Albert McClellan said. "It's almost like a screen play. It's kind of tough to defend when you have punt rushers in there with that mentality instead of thinking, 'We're going to hold up and let it play out in front of us.'"

Harbaugh said the Ravens kept eight defenders by the line of scrimmage, but Ta'ufo'ou still found space. Jacksonville couldn't convert the extra possession into points, and after a pair of long misses on field goal attempts, kicker Justin Tucker connected.

Tucker hit from 22 yards in the second quarter before missing twice from 54 yards in the second and fourth quarters. Tucker entered the game as the most accurate kicker in NFL history, but dropped to second after going 2-for-4.. He made his second of the day, a 33-yard kick, on the Ravens' final drive to extend their lead to 20-12.

"One thing I love about my job description is it's very black or white," Tucker said. "It's either good or it's not. Today, half as many times as we were good, I was also errant. Stuff happens, but we were able to bounce back, seal the game at the end and put our defense in a position to close it out."

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