"I feel like, even the secondary as a whole, we haven't really been getting interceptions," said Marlon Humphrey when asked about getting his first interception of the season. (Kevin Richardson / Baltimore Sun video)
Marlon Humphrey has had solid showings this season, and he knows it. But the Ravens cornerback acknowledged that there is a tendency to gloss over them if there aren’t any accompanying statistics.
So after he had intercepted his first pass of the season and broken up a season-high four passes in Sunday’s 20-12 win against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Humphrey took the time to enjoy his performance.
“It feels good,” he said. “I feel like the difference that makes a good corner and a great corner is mainly plays — interceptions, pick-sixes, things like that. So you say I played well, but [when] you get an interception, you kind of take good to great. I kind of want to be a great one. So I think it all starts with interceptions and pick-sixes.”
Humphrey was at his best in the fourth quarter. He intercepted quarterback Jameis Winston’s underthrown ball to wide receiver Mike Evans and turned away Winston’s pass to wide receiver Chris Godwin on fourth-and-4 from the Ravens’ 33-yard line.
“Marlon Humphrey played at the level we expected him to play at, which is the highest level,” Harbaugh said. “The interception, the big pass [breakup] … he came through in critical situations the whole game.”
Humphrey, who has been bothered by a groin injury the past two weeks, was noncommittal about comparing himself to the league’s upper echelon of cornerbacks.
“I feel like when they drafted me here, I felt like they saw a guy that could maybe step up and be the next good corner here,” he said. “Jimmy [Smith] is playing at a high level. However many more years he plays, I feel like they were trying to have a guy that could be the ‘CB1.’ So I think I’ve been showing some strides toward that. I still have the work to do. I feel like it’s all about making the big plays, though. So I was able to do one today — which definitely was good.”
A score for Moore
Wide receiver Chris Moore turned what appeared to be a scary day at the office into a happy one, overcoming a shoulder injury in the first quarter to score the Ravens’ first touchdown of Sunday’s win.
After running back Peyton Barber scored on a 3-yard run to give the Buccaneers a 6-0 lead in the second quarter, the Ravens responded with a 16-play, 73-yard march capped by rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson’s shovel pass to Moore, who followed a block by fellow wideout Willie Snead IV and raced 5 yards into the right corner of the end zone with 3:58 remaining in the half.
“It was set up perfectly, and Willie set a great edge, and the O-line did well, and I just had to beat the guys around with my speed,” said Moore, who averaged 23 yards on four kick returns, including a 32-yarder. “It was an awesome play.”
Moore suffered a stinger in his right shoulder while trying to block on a punt return after Tampa Bay’s opening possession of the game. He was immediately escorted into the blue tent behind the Ravens’ bench per the NFL’s concussion protocol, missed the offense’s first series, and then was cleared to return.
“That was my first stinger ever,” he said. “So at first, it did scare me, just to feel your arm go numb. But once I started getting the feeling back, I was fine.”
Cyrus Jones, the second-leading punt returner in the league entering the weekend, dodged significant complications from an error he made in the third quarter.
With the Buccaneers punting on fourth-and-7 from the Ravens’ 47-yard line, Jones waved off his teammates as a short punt dropped to the turf. But he compounded his mistake of not fair-catching the punt by trying to scoop it as it rolled toward the end zone. Instead, the loose ball was recovered by Tampa Bay defensive back Josh Shaw at the Ravens’ 14.
“Mistakes are going to get made, but we have to have each others’ backs,” Harbaugh said. “We have to overcome those mistakes. Cyrus is going to make a big return that’s going to dig us out at some point in time or he’s going to do something on defense. That’s probably what our team has done the best job of — overcoming those things. So we’ll just let that go.”
Buccaneers center Ryan Jensen returned to Baltimore, where he spent his first five seasons before bolting for a four-year, $42 million contract. Ravens nose tackle Brandon Williams said it was “fun” to match up against Jensen, who was one of Tampa Bay’s four captains.
“It’s always great to see a former teammate and get respect from each other,” said Williams, who had four tackles, including one for a loss. “I know he’s Jensen, but at the same time, he puts on a different helmet, and we have to go at it.”
Jensen picked up his 10th penalty of the season when he was flagged for holding in the second quarter.
While Moore was able to return to the game, tight end Nick Boyle was not as fortunate. It was announced in the fourth quarter that he had suffered a concussion and he did not play again. Outside linebacker Matthew Judon suffered a left knee injury late in the third quarter but returned. Left guard James Hurst was replaced briefly by rookie Bradley Bozeman in the first half before returning. … With Joe Flacco active, third-string quarterback Robert Griffin III did not make the team’s 46-man game-day roster. Running back Ty Montgomery was inactive for the first time since his first week with the team. Montgomery had averaged almost 25 snaps on offense the past three weeks. The club also deactivated rookie wide receiver Jordan Lasley, left guard Alex Lewis (left shoulder), defensive tackle Patrick Ricard, rookie defensive end Zach Sieler and outside linebacker Tim Williams (ankle). … Tampa Bay deactivated a trio of starters in safety Justin Evans (toe), wide receiver DeSean Jackson (thumb) and middle linebacker Adarius Taylor (not injury-related). The team also scratched quarterback Ryan Griffin, rookie tight end Tanner Hudson, defensive tackle Rakeem Nunez-Roches and cornerback David Rivers. … Snead, punter Sam Koch, nose tackle Michael Pierce and cornerback Tavon Young represented the Ravens for the pre-game coin toss, which was won by the Ravens. … Former center Matt Birk was the Ravens’ “Legend of the Game.” … Glenelg’s Butch Schaffer was named the Ravens High School Football Coach of the Year during a halftime ceremony. Schaffer led the Gladiators to a school-record 13 wins and an appearance in the Class 2A state final, becoming the first Howard County team to play for a state championship since Howard in 2015.