BALTIMORE — The Baltimore Ravens built a 26-point halftime lead against helpless Jacksonville and rolled to a 40-7 victory Sunday that boosted their playoff chances and extended the Jaguars’ losing streak to 13 games.
Lamar Jackson threw three touchdown passes and ran for a score to carry the Ravens (9-5) to their third straight win following a three-game skid. Hopeful of reaching the postseason for the third year in a row, Baltimore is among several AFC teams vying for three wild-card spots.
After Jackson returned from a bout with cramps to deliver a thrilling 47-42 win in Cleveland on Monday night, the Ravens had no desire for any drama at home against Jacksonville (1-13). Baltimore got the desired result, taking a 26-0 lead in the second quarter before cruising to the finish.
Rookie J.K. Dobbins ran for 64 yards and a score, and 32-year-old receiver Dez Bryant celebrated his first touchdown since 2017 late in the first half. It added up to the kind of confidence-building blowout the Ravens were looking for as they head into the final two weeks of a harrowing season in which they’ve fought through an outbreak of COVID-19 that forced two games to be rescheduled.
The Jaguars, meanwhile, struggled on offense behind quarterback Gardner Minshew, making his first start since Oct. 25. Minshew returned from a thumb injury and a subsequent benching to go 22 for 29 for 226 yards and two touchdowns, but he was sacked five times and lost a fumble.
A safety and a 4-yard touchdown catch by Miles Boykin put the Ravens up 9-0 early, and Dobbins scored on a 2-yard run — his fourth straight game with a TD — to up the margin early in the second quarter. A field goal and Bryant’s 11-yard touchdown reception capped a lopsided first half.
It was Bryant’s first trip to the end zone since he scored for Dallas against the Giants on Dec. 10, 2017. He sat out two straight seasons before joining the Ravens as a free agent in October.
After Jacksonville rookie James Robinson caught a 17-yard touchdown pass early in the third quarter, the Ravens answered with a 75-yard drive, capped by Jackson’s 5-yard touchdown run.
Robinson was limited to 35 yards rushing before leaving in the fourth quarter with an ankle injury.
The highlight of the fourth quarter was a 22-yard first-down run by Baltimore offensive lineman Tyre Phillips with a Jackson fumble.