LANDOVER — Quarterback Lamar Jackson ran for a career-long 50-yard touchdown and threw for two more scores Sunday, leading the Ravens to a 31-17 bounce-back win over the Washington Football Team.
After a blowout loss on “Monday Night Football” to the Kansas City Chiefs, the Ravens (3-1) mostly took care of business at FedEx Field. It was not a vintage day for the offense ― 350 yards and two turnovers ― but the Ravens got timely stops and made the most of Washington’s mistakes.
Jackson finished 14-for-21 for 193 yards, two touchdowns to tight end Mark Andrews (three catches for 57 yards) and an interception, his first of the season. He also added a game-high 53 rushing yards. The Ravens played without starting left tackle Ronnie Stanley, who was inactive with a shoulder injury. Orlando Brown Jr. played left tackle and reserve D.J. Fluker started at right tackle.
With a 21-point lead midway through the fourth quarter, the Ravens turned the offense’s reins over to former Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III, who threw an interception in his regular-season return to an empty FedEx Field. With their eighth straight road win, the Ravens improved to 4-3 overall against Washington (1-3) and ended a two-game losing streak to their local foes.
The Ravens again had a turnover spark their offense Sunday. In Week 2, inside linebacker L.J. Fort’s recovery of a fumble forced by cornerback Marlon Humphrey helped the Ravens start to put away the Houston Texans. On Monday, the Ravens mounted a brief comeback against the Chiefs after a fourth-down stop.
On Sunday, Humphrey came through again. His punch-out after a completion by running back J.D. McKissic led to a fumble recovery by cornerback Marcus Peters and a short field. The Ravens needed just two plays to score: a 33-yard strike to wide receiver Marquise “Hollywood” Brown (four catches, 86 yards) and a 1-yard run by running back Mark Ingram II.
Their next drive needed just three plays to extend the lead to 14-0. None was more impressive than Jackson’s 50-yard touchdown run, the longest by a quarterback in the past five seasons, according to ESPN. The Tennessee Titans' Marcus Mariota ran for an 87-yard touchdown in 2015.
From there, the defense took control against an offense led by one of the NFL’s worst quarterbacks, Dwayne Haskins Jr. With a banged-up receiving corps, Washington relied mostly on a mix of short passes and screens. Haskins finished 32-for-45 for 314 yards and no touchdowns, but much of his production came on runs after the catch.
Washington had a chance to make the game competitive before the the fourth quarter, but it seemed almost uninterested near the goal line. Down 28-10, facing fourth-and-goal from the Ravens' 13, Washington chose not to try for a field goal. Instead, Haskins threw a check-down pass to wide receiver Isaiah Wright, who ended 8 yards short of the end zone.
Daniel Oyefusi, reporter: The Ravens rebounded the way they were supposed to against a bad squad in the Washington Football Team. But with the quality of the opponent and last Monday’s thorough beating at the hands of the Kansas City Chiefs, there won’t be much discussion around a game most people expected the Ravens to win. There was already little margin for error to get the No. 1 seed in the AFC, but with strong starts from the Steelers and Browns, the same could be said for the AFC North. On to the Bengals next week.
Jonas Shaffer, reporter: With Ronnie Stanley unavailable against an impressive pass rush and Lamar Jackson not totally locked in, the Ravens definitely could have played worse Sunday. But they also could’ve played a lot better. The Ravens turned games against opponents like Washington into blowouts last year. On Sunday, it was a little more of a struggle. After Monday’s loss, though, they’ll take it.
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Childs Walker, reporter: The Ravens have more of a sporadic, big-play offense than a smoothly running machine right now. They never really got their running backs untracked against Washington and finished with six drives of three plays or fewer. But two of those short drives reached the end zone, so the formula worked against an overmatched opponent. Lamar Jackson missed on a few downfield throws but also made a pair of terrific plays with a 50-yard touchdown sprint and a scrambling touchdown throw to Mark Andrews. The Ravens played a sound defensive game despite lapses on a few third-down screens. They kept Dwayne Haskins Jr. from connecting downfield, stymied Washington’s running game and made a pair of big plays with a Marlon Humphrey strip to set up a touchdown and a Jaylon Ferguson sack to short circuit a potential scoring drive. It wasn’t the prettiest victory, but the Ravens are in a soft stretch of their schedule, so they have wiggle room to work through their unevenness.