No Lamar, no problem: Ravens continue to ride hot streak into playoff bye

The Baltimore Ravens capped the most successful season in franchise history on Sunday, and they did so without quarterback Lamar Jackson or anything at stake.

With the AFC’s No. 1 seed wrapped up a week ago, the Ravens leaned on running back Gus Edwards and other reserves for a 28-10 drubbing of the rival Pittsburgh Steelers at a rain-soaked M&T Bank Stadium.

This marked a team-record 14th win in the regular season, as well as Baltimore’s 12th in a row. The Ravens haven’t lost since Sept. 29 — 91 days nfl nike jerseys china

It’s the longest winning streak in the NFL since the Carolina Panthers won 18 straight in the 2014 and 2015 seasons, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. It’s the most consecutive wins to end a regular season since the New England Patriots won all 16 of their games in 2007, according to the Elias Sports Bureau’s data.4

The Ravens (14-2) take that momentum into the postseason, where they will play host to the worst-seeded remaining team (the Houston Texans, Buffalo Bills or Tennessee Titans) in the AFC divisional round on Jan. 11 or 12 after a first-round bye.

The impressive part is Baltimore dominated Pittsburgh despite making six Pro Bowl players inactive — including MPV front-runner Jackson — and the Steelers were fighting for their playoff lives. In addition to Jackson, Baltimore sat running back Mark Ingram Jr., guard Marshal Yanda, offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley, tight end Mark Andrews, safety Earl Thomas III and defensive tackle Brandon nike nfl jerseys wholesale

Without Jackson and Ingram, the Ravens still set the NFL record for most rushing yards in a single season, surpassing the 1978 New England Patriots. Baltimore finished the season with 3,296 yards rushing.

Buy a breakout performance: RB Gus Edwards. With Ingram sidelined by a calf injury, Edwards proved he can carry the load. He ran for a career-best 130 yards on 21 carries. If Ingram isn’t at full strength for the playoffs, Edwards’ performance adds confidence that he can be the featured back for the NFL’s top-ranked rushing attack.

Pivotal play: Linebacker Matthew Judon’s forced fumble late in first half. Three plays after Baltimore took a 7-6 lead, Judon stripped Steelers QB Devlin Hodges to give the ball to the Ravens’ offense at the Steelers’ 23-yard line. Running back Justice Hill converted that turnover into an 8-yard touchdown, and Baltimore never looked back.