Lamar Jackson likened it to “bread and butter” or “peanut butter and jelly.”
He and Mark Andrews just go together.
The mood of a 34-20 win over the Bengals was soured by the news that Andrews, who rolled his ankle while being tackled by Cincinnati linebacker Logan Wilson, might miss the rest of the season with his injury.
That’s brutal news for the teammates who admire his singular intensity, which sets the tone for the whole team from training camp through the playoffs. It’s brutal news for a passing game that has gone to Andrews for six touchdowns this year, putting him one score shy of matching Todd Heap’s franchise record.
“That’s Receiver 1 sometimes,” Jackson said on Andrews. “We gotta somehow do it without him.”
Thursday’s game was a good blueprint for how to do it — even if the Ravens’ wideouts are a long way from PB and J.
The Ravens wound up with 264 passing yards, with 206 of them going to wide receivers. While Odell Beckham Jr. roared back into vintage form with four catches for 116 yards (his first Ravens game over the century mark), it also included dramatic touchdown celebrations from some of the lesser-used targets.
Rashod Bateman scored his first touchdown this season, crossing his arms before falling backward into the turf as if laying himself to rest. In reality, it has seemed like Bateman came back from the dead. It was his first score since Week 2 last season, before a long, injury-induced layoff and a slow start to this season. Bateman had actually made multiple catches in the five games leading up to his score in prime time.
There was Nelson Agholor, grabbing a tipped pass that Jackson tried to slip through a tight window to Isaiah Likely. Agholor dashed 37 yards to the end zone and front-flipped into a somersault.
Even Jackson, who famously flipped himself for a game-winning score, quipped: “He need to give me some tips on how to do the flip, because last time I did, I landed on my butt.”
It was a needed reminder at just the right time. There’s a world of potential in the Ravens’ receiving room, and they’ll need to tap it to survive without Andrews.