Baltimore Ravens vs Jacksonville Jaguars: What We Learned


Dec 14, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Baltimore Ravens safety Terrence Brooks (31) is assisted off the field after suffering an apparent injury on the opening kickoff against the Jacksonville Jaguars at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

The irony of the NFL: the Baltimore Ravens played arguably their worst full game of the season, yet came away with the win that catapulted them into the sixth seed and a playoff spot. For now.

Needless to say, the Ravens are lucky this clunker of a performance came against the Jacksonville Jaguars. There is no way the Ravens can beat most teams in the league playing the way they did. But bad games happen. The Cleveland Browns lost to these very same Jaguars. The Denver Broncos were steamrolled by the St. Louis Rams. It happens.

Nobody should try to draw too many conclusions from this game, at least in terms of the big picture. There were some performances, though, that could be indicative of what is to come.

More from The Baltimore Wire

Justin Forsett might be wearing down

Fans have probably noticed Justin Forsett has not looked himself the past two weeks, going down more easily and not exploding through holes as he had in weeks past. Aside from a 44-yard run against the Dolphins last week, Forsett has really struggled of late. Need proof? On 16 carries against the Jaguars, Forsett’s longest was six yards.

His workload may be a problem. Before this season, the most touches Forsett had ever received was 155 in 2009, his rookie year. This year, Forsett is up to 246. At just 5’8″ and under 200 pounds, that’s a lot of touches.

Of course, the Ravens’ offensive line hasn’t been quite as good the past two weeks either, which hurts. Forsett does look slower, though, and that is hurting this offense in a big way.

Rashaan Melvin might be a keeper

In his first live action as a Baltimore Raven, Rashaan Melvin looked good in coverage and active in run support, totaling five tackles and a pass defense. Not bad for a guy who has been an after thought his whole career.

He’ll be an interesting case to watch in the All-22 film. On the broadcast, Melvin looked to maintain good position and have the athleticism to cover most, if not all receivers. With his length (6’2″) and athleticism, Melvin has some upside.

It’s way too early to bank on Melvin yet, but with the Ravens’ injuries at cornerback, he should get plenty of action the next two games. Two more impressive performances could earn Melvin a shot next year.

The Ravens are jinxed in the secondary

Three. That’s how many Ravens defensive backs went down with an injury against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Though Anthony Levine would come back, Terrence Brooks and Asa Jackson would not, further depleting the most injured group of corners in the NFL and quite possibly NFL history.

As of this writing, the Ravens have Lardarius Webb, Anthony Levine, Rashaan Melvin and Antoine Cason left at cornerback. Two of those guys, Cason and Melvin, were not on the roster at the beginning of the season, and Levine is a converted safety. Matt Elam, a missed tackle machine, also plays some slot cornerback.

Who the Ravens bring to training camp in the secondary next year will be fascinating. They’ll have a ton of guys who have played this year, including (hopefully) a couple of additions. That’s assuming, of course, the curse of the Ravens’ secondary ends by next season.