Ravens lock up playoff berth as defense stifles Falcons
About a half-hour after Baltimore (10-5) took care of the Falcons, New England lost to Cincinnati to put the Ravens in the playoffs. The Ravens won for the second time in three games without quarterback Lamar Jackson, who has been out with a knee injury.
Gus Edwards ran for 99 yards and J.K. Dobbins rushed for 59 for Baltimore. Huntley’s 6-yard touchdown pass to Demarcus Robinson in the second quarter was the first TD catch by a Ravens wide receiver since Week 3.
Huntley ran for a 2-point conversion that put the Ravens up 14-0 – and Baltimore’s defense has allowed more than 14 points in a game just once since the start of November.
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Atlanta (5-10), which entered just a game behind first-place Tampa Bay in the NFC South, has lost four straight – including rookie QB Desmond Ridder’s first two starts – and six of seven.
The temperature at kickoff was 17 degrees, the lowest for a home game in franchise history. Although both teams were expected to rely on the run instead of their shaky passing games, Huntley did connect with Sammy Watkins for 40 yards and Mark Andrews for 36. Those two drives both ended in field goals, and the Ravens led 6-0.
Atlanta (5-10) went for it on fourth down near midfield, and Ridder found Drake London for a gain of 20. But London fumbled at the end of that play, and the Ravens took over at their own 30.
Baltimore then ran the ball on the first 11 plays of the ensuing drive, which ended with Huntley’s short touchdown pass.
The Ravens caught a break near the end of the first half. On first-and-goal from the 1, Ridder was called for intentional grounding – it appeared he was hit as he threw – for a loss of 13. The Falcons settled for a field goal.
On the first possession of the second half, a holding call on receiver Olamide Zaccheaus nullified a touchdown by Cordarrelle Patterson, and Atlanta kicked a field goal again.
Down 17-6 in the fourth, the Falcons had first-and-goal from the 4, but four straight runs were stopped short of the end zone. Tyler Allgeier was unable to convert on fourth down from the 1.
Atlanta pulled within eight on a field goal with 2:03 remaining, but the Falcons had let so much time run off that the kickoff brought the clock down to the two-minute warning. Atlanta did have two timeouts remaining, but the Ravens were able to get a first down and seal the win.
In addition to Jackson, the Ravens were without DE Calais Campbell (knee) and CB Marcus Peters (calf). … Atlanta TE Feleipe Franks was evaluated for a head injury.
Falcons: Host Arizona next Sunday.
Ravens: Host Pittsburgh next Sunday.