TAMPA, Fla. — After struggling in the first half, quarterback Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens were able to put things together offensively, even after losing tight end Mark Andrews to a shoulder injury in the second quarter, to knock off Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 27-22.
The loss was the fifth out of the past six games for the Bucs (3-5) after starting 2-0, as the Ravens (5-3) were able to win their third out of the past four.
In a gut-check game, Lamar Jackson — without his top two targets — and the Ravens found a way to beat Tom Brady.
With tight end Mark Andrews and wide receiver Rashod Bateman sidelined with injuries, Jackson led Baltimore to touchdowns on its first three drives of the second half. The Ravens leaned on the run after abandoning it in the first half, totaling 157 yards rushing on 20 attempts on those three series.
Jackson was perfect on those touchdown drives, completing all eight passes for 94 yards — which is how he ended the half. The Ravens ran the ball 24 times for 206 yards.
This marked Baltimore’s first winning streak of the season and keeps the Ravens atop the AFC North.
Pivotal play: For a team that has struggled late in games, the Ravens showed toughness on third-and-1 midway through the fourth quarter. Devin Duvernay took the end-around handoff and scored a 15-yard touchdown. That put Baltimore ahead 24-13. The Ravens became the third team in the past 11 years to hold a double-digit lead in each of their first eight games of a season. The others were Brady’s New England Patriots teams in 2015 and 2019.
Troubling trend: Injuries. The Ravens were without Andrews and Bateman for the entire second half. Andrews injured his right shoulder midway through the second quarter, and Bateman aggravated his left foot injury that had sidelined him for two games earlier this season. Jackson didn’t blink, relying on a couple of newcomers. Tight end Isaiah Likely (six catches for 77 yards), a rookie fourth-round pick, and Demarcus Robinson (six for 64), a free-agent addition, helped fill the major void.
Eye-popping NextGen stat: Jackson jump-started the Ravens’ offense with a 25-yard run on the first play of the second half. Weaving his way through the middle of the defense, he traveled 59.8 yards of distance to gain those 25 yards, according to NFL NextGen Stats. This was a complete reversal from the first half, when Jackson totaled 1 yard on two carries. — Jamison Hensley
Underrated statistic to know: Jackson attempted 30 passes in the first half, his most in any half in the regular season.
Next game: at New Orleans Saints (8:15 p.m. ET, Nov. 7)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Buccaneers’ stunning free fall continues.
This marks the first time quarterback Tom Brady has suffered three straight losses in 20 years and the first time in his career he has been multiple games under .500 as a starter.
Brady and the offense looked like they were finally starting to find their rhythm with a first-possession touchdown — breaking the NFL’s fourth-longest opening-drive touchdown drought — and the defense offered a glimmer of hope in a red zone stand after the Ravens recovered a muffed punt at the Tampa Bay 6.
Brady was able to hit deep shots to wide receiver Mike Evans — something he had seldom attempted all season. Julio Jones, who hadn’t seen any action since Week 4 because of a knee injury, even scored his first touchdown as a Buccaneer on an 8-yard pass late in the fourth quarter.
But as has been the case all season, the Bucs struggled to put four quarters together, and things unraveled in the second half as they surrendered three touchdowns.
Pivotal play: Bucs outside linebacker Shaquil Barrett suffered a left ankle injury in the third quarter on a third-and-1 run by Gus Edwards. Prior to the injury, Barrett had a sack, three tackles for a loss and four tackles. The Bucs surrendered a game-tying 5-yard touchdown five plays later to Kenyan Drake, and the Ravens took the lead on a 10-yard touchdown pass to Isaiah Likely on the following possession.
Eye-popping NextGen stat: The Buccaneers went 1-of-4 in the red zone Thursday, dropping them to a 43.5% red zone efficiency, which ranks 29th in the NFL. The Bucs had a 67.4% red zone efficiency rating in Brady’s first two seasons (2020-2021), which was fifth best in the league. — Jenna Laine
Underrated statistic to know: In the second quarter, Brady became the most sacked QB in NFL history (555), surpassing Ben Roethlisberger. He was sacked on back-to-back plays, both times by Justin Houston.
Next game: vs. Los Angeles Rams (4:25 p.m. ET, Nov. 6)