Gus Edwards runs for 3 touchdowns, Ravens' defense keys 31-24 win over Cardinals

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GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Baltimore gave up a touchdown right out of the gate and two more in the fourth quarter.

In between, the Ravens' opportunistic defense dominated, leading to a third straight win.

Gus Edwards ran for two of his three touchdowns following interceptions, and the Ravens beat the Arizona Cardinals 31-24 on Sunday.

“We weren’t really as crisp and sharp as we wanted to be by any stretch and yet we kept grinding, kept fighting and found a way to get the job done,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said.

A week after blowing out Detroit 38-6, the AFC North-leading Ravens (6-2) labored offensively.

The Cardinals (1-7) prevented Lamar Jackson from scrambling for more than a few yards at a time and the Ravens finished with 268 total yards. Jackson threw for 157 yards on 18-of-27 passing and ran for 18 yards on four carries.

“We've got to put more points on the board,” Jackson said.

Baltimore's defense made up for its struggling offense.

The Ravens harassed quarterback Joshua Dobbs all afternoon, forcing two interceptions and a fumble while sacking him four times.

Dobbs threw for 208 yards and two touchdowns, both in the fourth quarter. Trey McBride bulled his way through several defenders for a 17-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter and, after Edwards scored on a 1-yard run, Dobbs hit Marquise Brown for a 1-yard touchdown with 1:14 left.

Arizona recovered the onside kick and Matt Prater kicked a 47-yard field goal, but the Cardinals couldn't come up with another onside kick and lost their fifth straight.

“In the second quarter, third quarter there, the two takeaways that kind of put us behind the eight-ball,” Cardinals coach Jonathan Gannon said. “We've got to work to get that cleaned up.”

The good news for Arizona: Quarterback Kyler Murray returned to practice this week for the first time since tearing an ACL last season.

Dobbs was sharp early in his eighth straight start, scoring on 1-yard sneak to cap a 75-yard game-opening drive.

The fourth-year quarterback wasn't quite as good after that.

The Cardinals turned it over on downs near midfield twice and Dobbs had a pass intercepted by Brandon Stephens on an overthrow.

It didn't get any better in the second half.

Dobbs fumbled on a sack — the Cardinals recovered — and had a pass intercepted by Geno Stone at Arizona's 23 when he tried to throw into double coverage. Edwards scored on a 7-yard run three plays later to put Baltimore up 21-7.

“Obviously, the game didn't go the way we wanted (at the) end of the first half, start of the third quarter,” said Dobbs, who had 148 yards passing in the fourth quarter. “But the way we stayed together and fought was very impressive.”

The Ravens had a similar start and stutter.

Jackson hit 6 of 7 passes for 64 yards on Baltimore's first drive, finding tight end Mark Andrews in the back of the end zone for a 5-yard score.

The Ravens had 64 yards of offense the rest of the half, taking a 14-7 lead on Edwards' 1-yard touchdown dive following Stephens' interception.

“You look at the first drive, it was good and then we started to find our groove, but there’s too many drives where didn't find our groove,” Andrews said. “But I still feel like we controlled the game.”

SPOT ADJUSTMENT

Early in the second quarter, Arizona appeared to have a first down after going for it on fourth, only to have the officials move the ball back several inches.

The move caused an uproar on social media since there was no initial explanation, but NFL Senior Vice President of Officiating Walt Anderson said the decision to move the ball back came via replay assist.

“The replay official told the officials the ball was clearly short and that's why the umpire ended up moving the ball,” Anderson told a pool reporter.

TARGETING HOLLYWOOD

The Cardinals wasted no time getting the ball to Brown in his first game against his former team.

The receiver known as “Hollywood” caught a 7-yard pass on Arizona’s first play and later induced a pass interference against Marion Humphrey in the end zone, setting up Dobbs’ TD sneak.

Brown finished with six catches for 33 yards and a touchdown. He played three seasons for the Ravens before being sent to Arizona in a draft day trade last year.

INJURIES

Cardinals LG Trystan Colon did not return after suffering a right knee injury on Arizona’s first drive. ... Ravens WR Odell Beckham Jr. went down with a stomach contusion in the third quarter after a hard collision with Arizona S Budda Baker, but later returned.

UP NEXT

Ravens: Host Seattle next Sunday.

Cardinals: At Cleveland next Sunday.

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AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/NFL