Let’s first be clear about something. If the Baltimore Ravens are going anywhere this season, they’re going to need a healthy Mark Andrews and Rashod Bateman to help them get there. That shouldn’t need to be said, but there was a silly narrative floating around Thursday night as the Ravens were putting the finishing touches on a 27-22 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers that the offense somehow was better without quarterback Lamar Jackson’s two favorite targets.

The rationale was that with them sidelined, Jackson had to spread the ball around and take what the defense was giving him, rather than focusing on getting it to Andrews and, to a lesser extent, Bateman. It did seem clear early Thursday that Jackson was intent on getting Andrews, who was held without a catch in the previous week’s victory over the Cleveland Browns, targets, even if he was covered. Four of Jackson’s first six passing attempts were intended for Andrews.

Andrews went down with a shoulder injury early in the second quarter and Bateman followed him to the locker room shortly thereafter as he aggravated a foot injury. Andrews and Bateman totaled 23 snaps, and all but a few of them were in the first half.

With them off the field in the second half, the Ravens put up 24 points, scored on all four of their possessions and racked up 297 yards. Much of that was due to the run game, but when Jackson needed to make a play with his arm, he made it. He was 8-for-8 through the air and completed passes to four different receivers, hitting Devin Duvernay and Isaiah Likely three times each and Demarcus Robinson and Kenyan Drake once apiece.

For the game, Robinson, who entered the night with nine catches all season, finished with six receptions for 64 yards. Duvernay, who was barely involved in the offense the previous two games, had four catches for 31 yards and two carries for 33 yards and a touchdown. Likely, who had 10 catches for 104 yards in his first seven games, notched six catches for 77 yards and a score. James Proche tripled his season numbers with three catches for 24 yards.

“A lot of people don’t know about our guys, but I feel like we do,” Jackson said. “We do a lot in practice, and those guys show it each and every day. They got an opportunity tonight, and they showed up.”

Jackson has always defended and praised his secondary receiving options. Actions, though, speak louder than words. For much of the season, pass catchers such as Likely, Robinson and Proche have been hardly involved. Against the Buccaneers, Jackson had no choice but to make sure they received targets — and the Ravens got the results they wanted.

That’s where not having Andrews and Bateman last week could benefit the Ravens in the long run. If Jackson gained some confidence in his receivers in that second half, that’s a bonus. If some of those previously seldom-used receivers came away from the game feeling good about themselves and their role in the offense, that’s good, too. And if offensive coordinator Greg Roman learned something about his personnel and its potential without a passing game dominated by Andrews or Bateman, that’s even better.

The manner in which they took over the game offensively in the second half should have wide-reaching lessons for Roman and the Ravens. Likely can play and needs to remain a part of the game plan. Duvernay should get the ball more. Robinson and Proche are capable of making tough catches, too. And never should the Ravens have just seven rushing attempts in the first half while throwing it 30 times.

If it took Andrews and Bateman going out for the coaching staff to reach those conclusions, so be it. But Baltimore won’t be at its best until those two are back on the field healthy and making plays.