Ravens clinch playoff berth behind Lamar Jackson, stifling defense in win over Jaguars

The Baltimore Ravens clinched a playoff spot with a 23-7 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday.

Lamar Jackson and the defense needed to step up against a tough Trevor Lawrence-led squad and did just that early. Jackson’s touchdown pass to Isaiah Likely with 1:12 left in the first half put Baltimore up 10-0.

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Lamar Jackson #8 of the Baltimore Ravens runs with the ball while being pursued by DaVon Hamilton #52 of the Jacksonville Jaguars during the third quarter at EverBank Stadium on December 17, 2023 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Courtney Culbreath/Getty Images)

Baltimore punted on their first drive of the second half and Jacksonville was able to get on the board on the following series. Lawrence found Jamal Agnew for a 65-yard touchdown pass. But that the only scoring Jacksonville could get.

Ravens running back Gus Edwards ran for a touchdown in the fourth and Justin Tucker added his second and third field goals of the night to put the Jaguars away.

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Jackson finished 14-of-24 with 171 passing yards, a touchdown pass and an interception. He led the team with 97 rushing yards. Edwards added 53 yards on 15 carries. Rookie running back Keaton Mitchell had 73 rushing yards but his night ended early when he suffered a knee injury.

Likely led the team with five catches for 70 yards.

Isaiah Likely makes catch

Isaiah Likely #80 of the Baltimore Ravens makes a reception against Darious Williams #31 of the Jacksonville Jaguars and Andrew Wingard #42 of the Jacksonville Jaguars during the third quarter at EverBank Stadium on December 17, 2023 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Mike Carlson/Getty Images)

Lawrence fumbled twice in the loss. He had 264 passing yards and a touchdown pass. He was only sacked once. He led the team with 41 rushing yards even as he’s dealing with a nagging ankle injury

.Justin Madubuike had the sack on Lawrence. He has 12 on the season.

Agnew had two catches for 70 yards. Zay Jones had five catches for 59 yards.

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Trevor Lawrence throws

Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) passes against the Baltimore Ravens in the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 17, 2023, in Jacksonville, Fla.  (AP Photo/John Raoux)

With the win, the Ravens maintained the No. 1 spot in the AFC with an 11-3 record. The team has a slight edge over the Miami Dolphins, who are 10-4 after the team’s shutout victory over the New York Jets earlier in the day. No other team in the AFC has 10 wins.

The Ravens are also two games up over the Cleveland Browns, who defeated the Chicago Bears in overtime. Cleveland is 9-5 and the two teams split the season series.

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Jacksonville fell to 8-6 and moved into a three-way tie for the top of the AFC South with the Indianapolis Colts and the Houston Texans. Jacksonville has one more divisional matchup left on the docket – Week 18 against the Tennessee Titans.

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