The Baltimore Ravens went into their Thursday Night Football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with a plan. It worked, too, according to head coach John Harbaugh, as the Ravens controlled the second half to hit the Bucs when they were already down.
Baltimore won on Thursday, handing Tampa Bay its the third consecutive loss. It’s only the first in his career that QB Tom Brady has found himself in this situation.
The game belonged to the Bucs for most of the first half. Apparently, this was Harbaugh’s plan all along, preferring to strike hard in the second half to take control. Planned or not, it worked.
Ravens Topple a Giant
Baltimore overturned a 10-3 halftime deficit at the hands of its star quarterback, Lamar Jackson. He rushed for 43 yards and completed 27 of 38 passes for 238 yards and two touchdowns. That was a big part of the 27-22 final score.
On the other side, Brady completed 26 of 44 passes for 325 yards and a TD. The Bucs scored a touchdown in the first quarter for the first time this season, converted by Leonard Fournette. However, their offense stalled in the second half.
The Ravens turned the scoreboard around in the third quarter with a 5-yard touchdown from running back Kenyan Drake and a 10-yard touchdown from tight end Isaiah Likely. They marched down the field series after series, unwilling to give Brady a chance.
However, Tampa Bay didn’t give it. They got closer with two field goals and, late in the fourth quarter, got even closer with a TD thanks to wide receiver Julio Jones.
The score was now 27-22, and the Bucs had a chance to move to within a field goal with a two-point conversion. With just 49 seconds left on the clock, the Ravens thwarted the attempt, and the scoreboard wouldn’t move again.
The Bucs now move to 3-5 on the season, something Brady never expected after leading the team to a Super Bowl victory in 2020. Perhaps it’s time to beg Rob Gronkowski to come out of retirement.
The Ravens are now 5-3 and control the AFC North. At the rate they’re going, they’re making a good case to be contenders for the conference title.
Brady Sets NFL Record
Brady set a record Thursday night, but it may or may not be a good one, depending on the point of view. He has been sacked 555 times in his pro career, dethroning former Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger by one.
Roethlisberger was in the NFL for 18 years when he set the record. Brady has been in for over 20, which means his offensive lines – both the New England Patriots and the Bucs – have done a better job at protecting him, until now.
Brady went down twice last night on consecutive plays, more than a little frustrating for the GOAT. On the bright side, the fact that he has racked up so many sacks is a sign that other teams know they have to contain him if they want to win.
The Bucs had a slight advantage with the sportsbooks heading into the game, but the underdogs continue to prevail. The over/under of around 45 was a fair target, given the recent performances of both teams, but breaking it proved not to be a problem.
The Buccaneers will look for redemption when they take on the 3-3 L.A. Rams in Week 9. The Ravens will meet the New Orleans Saints on Monday Night Football, which should add another notch in the win column.
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