Ravens safe playoff spot by beating Falcons, shedding to Patriots

BALTIMORE — The Ravens are in the playoffs again, but they did so without star quarterback Lamar Jackson.

With Jackson (sprained knee) missing his third straight game, the Ravens secured a postseason berth with a 17-9 win over the Atlanta Falcons on Saturday, relying on strong running play and tight defense.

Little did the Ravens (10-4) know that they had secured their ticket to the playoffs as soon as their game was over. Baltimore had to wait a few more minutes before the New England Patriots lost 22-18 to the Cincinnati Bengals.

This was the first time Baltimore had earned a playoff berth without Jackson as a starting quarterback since 2014 with Joe Flacco.

It was another tough game for the offense without Jackson, who has just two touchdowns in three games without the 2019 NFL MVP. The Ravens got fed up with their running game, rushing for 184 yards on the ground. Tyler Huntley, standing in for Jackson, was 9 of 17 for 115 yards and a touchdown.

While the Ravens’ offense has struggled, their defense continues to clamp down. Baltimore stepped up to stop Atlanta from the 1-yard line for fourth and goal in the fourth quarter. This was the third time in the past six games that the Baltimore defense didn’t concede a touchdown.

The Ravens can still conquer the AFC North if they win. Their last two games are at home against the Pittsburgh Steelers and in the finals with the Cincinnati Bengals.

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