TAMPA, Fla. – There was no panic in Baltimore’s locker room after the team’s pass-happy offensive approach mustered just three points against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (3-5).
The Ravens shifted to what they do best after halftime, rushing for over 200 yards in the third and fourth quarters on the way to 27-22 victory that gave them consecutive victories for the first time this season.
“I feel like the whole offense was hungry,” quarterback Lamar Jackson said.
Jackson threw for 238 yards and two second-half touchdowns, but the turning point came on the Ravens' first offensive play of the third quarter when the quarterback ran up the middle for a gain of 25 yards to near mid-field.
“That long scramble where he got out of there and got that first down, that was big,” Ravens coach Jack Harbaugh said. “I think that took a little steam out of them, too, in terms of the pass rush because you don't want to see that happen. It slows you down a little bit.”
Jackson beat Tom Brady for the second time in two career meetings, directing TD drives of 77, 80 and 85 yards after Baltimore sputtered early and trailed 10-3 at halftime.
The Ravens rushed for 231 yards, while Jackson completed 27 of 38 passes without an interception, including TD throws of 5 yards to Kenyon Drake and 10 yards to Isaiah Likely in the third quarter.
Baltimore scored on its first four possessions after halftime, with Justin Tucker booting a 30-yard field goal to make it 27-16 with a little over two minutes remaining.
“I'm really proud of the guys,” Harbaugh said. “At the end our guys had a little more left. You could see in terms of the execution.”
The Ravens, meanwhile, wasted a couple opportunities take control early, settling for a 22-yard field goal after recovering a fumble at the Bucs 6 on a punt return and coming away with no points when Jackson threw incomplete into end zone on fourth-and-3 from the Tampa Bay 10 late in the second quarter.
“I thought we’d do better than three points ... we all felt we’d score a little more than three, but their defense is tough.” Harbaugh said of the first-half offensive plan. “We couldn’t just get going with first downs and getting drives extended.”