Jackson shines, Ravens beat Brady, struggling Bucs 27-22
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — The Baltimore Ravens finally have a winning streak.
Lamar Jackson threw for 238 yards and a pair of second-half touchdowns, and the Ravens rallied Thursday night for a 27-22 win over Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, giving Baltimore consecutive victories for the first time this season.
Brady, on the other hand, finds himself riding a three-game skid for the first time since 2002 — the seven-time Super Bowl champion's first year as a full-time starter for the New England Patriots.
Jackson completed all eight of his passes after halftime, and the Ravens (5-3) finished with 231 yards after only running the ball seven times in the first two quarters.
“I feel like we’re very close," Jackson said when asked if he feels the Baltimore offense is moving closer to hitting on all cylinders.
“We’re right there, but there’s still room for improvement … the little mistakes we’re still making out there,” the Ravens quarterback added. "We change those and I feel the sky is the limit.”
The Bucs (3-5) lost for the fifth time in six games following a 2-0 start.
“We just didn't play well enough to win,” said Brady, who avoided going a second straight game without a touchdown pass by tossing an 8-yarder to Julio Jones in the final minute.
“Until you win ball games consistently, and play four quarters consistently, it is going to be dark,” Bucs coach Todd Bowles said. “That doesn't mean we can't get out of it. We just have a lot of work to do, as coaches and as players.”
Jackson beat the 45-year-old Brady for the second time in as many career meetings, directing TD drives of 77, 80 and 85 yards after Baltimore sputtered early and trailed 10-3 at halftime.
The Ravens (5-3) ran for all but 27 of its 231 yards rushing in the second half, while Jackson finished 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.
Brady threw his TD pass to Jones with 49 seconds remaining, finishing 26 of 44 for 325 yards without an interception. He was sacked three times.
Leonard Fournette scored on a 1-yard run, and Mike Evans had six receptions for 123 yards for the Bucs.
Fournette’s TD was the first the Bucs have scored in the opening quarter this season. Brady spoke earlier in the week about how helpful it can be to play with a lead, however the offense did little to build on the early advantage after Ryan Succop’s 31-yard field goal made it 10-3.
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 4th-and-3 from the Tampa Bay 10 late in the second quarter.
Another chance to cut into their 10-3 deficit was thwarted when Tucker’s 61-yard field goal attempt was deflected at the line as time expired in the half.
RUNNING WITH AUTHORITY
The Ravens averaged 7 yards per carry and topped 150 yards rushing for the seventh straight game, the longest active streak in the NFL.
Tampa Bay's defense, among the best in the league at forcing turnovers, didn't have a takeaway for the fourth consecutive game.
Ravens DE Calais Campbell (illness) was inactive. ... Ravens TE Mark Andrews (shoulder) left in the second quarter and did not return. ...CB Marlon Humphrey (hamstring) missed time in the first half, but returned at the start of the third quarter. ... WR Rashod Bateman (foot) sat out most of the second half. ... Edwards (hamstring) departed late in the fourth quarter, finishing with a team-leading 65 yards on 11 attempts.
Buccaneers: Played without three starters in the secondary — S Antoine Winfield Jr (concussion) and CBs Carlton Davis (hip) and Sean Murphy-Bunting (quad). WR Russell Gage (hamstring), G Luke Goedeke (foot), TE Cameron Brate (neck) and DL Akiem Hicks (foot) were inactive, too. ... LB Shaquil Barrett (ankle) limped off the field early in the third quarter and rode to the locker room on a cart.
Ravens: Travel to New Orleans to face Saints on Monday, Nov. 7.
Buccaneers: Host defending Super Bowl champion Los Angeles Rams on Sunday, Nov. 6.