The Tampa Bay Buccaneers entered Week-15 coming off of one of their worst offensive performances of the season. Despite the fact that Jameis Winston was turnover free until the final moments, the offense sputtered after a fast start and failed to score again after going ahead 14-3 against the New Orleans Saints a week earlier. Sunday Winston and his teammates knew it would likely take more than 14 points to win in rain-soaked Baltimore against the Ravens.
After an extremely uneventful first quarter was capped off with a Lamar Jackson fumble that was recovered by Lavonte David, the Buccaneers were finally able to move the ball deep into Ravens territory, and cap off the first scoring drive of the game in the second quarter as Peyton Barber punched it in from three yards out to put the Bucs ahead 6-0. After the snap got away from Brian Anger, there was no chance for the Bucs to complete the extra point, and the lead would remain 6-0.
The Ravens answered right away as their run game got going, and Baltimore was able to move the ball into the red zone on a big third down pick up as Jackson hit a wide-open Willie Snead to convert a 3rd-and-long. Later in the drive it was Jackson converting a 4th-and-1 with a run up the gut that picked up about six yards to set up a 1st-and-goal at the 2-yard-line. Moments later it was Chris Moore taking an end around into the corner of the end zone, and the Ravens went ahead 7-6 with just under four minutes to play in the first half.
Winston made magic happen on the following drive, escaping pressure and hurling the ball 64 yards to Mike Evans who was taken down by his facemask, giving the Buccaneers a 1st-and-10 at the Ravens 11-yard-line. The drive stalled inside the 10, but Cairo Santos hit the short field goal to give Tampa Bay the 9-7 lead with just inside of two minutes remaining in the half.
The lead wouldn’t last long however, as Jackson was able to get the Ravens offense moving through the air, and after a big play to Snead, it was Baltimore that was suddenly on the Buccaneers 11-yard-line. Like the Bucs before them, the Ravens would settle for three, but the drive would put them ahead 10-9 heading into halftime.
The Baltimore Ravens got the ball coming out of the half and wasted no time as they moved down the field quickly, mostly on the back of Jackson’s feet, and before you could open your second half beer the Ravens went ahead 17-9 on a 10-yard Gus Edwards touchdown.
The Bucs offense wouldn’t be as successful, but when Cyrus Jones inexplicitly touched a bouncing ball on the punt, the Bucs would recover the ball deep in Ravens territory. The Bucs couldn’t do much with the opportunity, but were able to pick up three more points on another Santos field goal to cut the lead to 17-12.
The Baltimore rushing attack (and a couple tosses from Jackson) again proved to be enough to add points to the board on the following drive, and Justin Tucker came in to push the Ravens lead to 20-12 less than two minutes into the fourth quarter.
The first play of the next drive was the worst play we’ve seen from Winston in games as he underthrew a football drastically that was intercepted by Marlon Humphrey, putting the Buccaneers and the defense in a precarious position.
The Bucs defense did exactly what Winston needed them to do after the pick, forcing the Ravens to punt after allowing Jackson to go nowhere but backwards on the drive.
Things were looking good for the Bucs as they were moving the ball in Ravens territory looking to tie the game up, but after Ryan Jensen was destroyed by Brandon Williams and knocked Barber backwards setting up a 4th-and-4, and Humphrey who intercepted Winston on the previous drive broke up a pass intended for Chris Godwin to turn the ball over on downs with over seven minutes to play.
The Ravens took over with an eye on continuing to run the ball and the clock, as they pushed their rushing attempts over 40 and yards over 200 on the drive. As the clock hit 4:21, the Bucs called their last timeout of the game with the Ravens looking at 1st-and-10 in Tampa Bay territory, meaning just a couple first downs would seal the game.
Another big Edwards run later, the Ravens were taking a knee inside the Bucs 10-yard-line to finish off the game with the 20-12 victory.