Defensive standouts from Ravens overwhelming win over Bengals

The Baltimore Ravens closed out the 2020 regular season with a 38-3 rout of the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 17 on the road at Paul Brown Stadium. It marked their fifth straight win and the fourth time during that span where they defeated an opponent by two or more possessions.

The offense produced some historic individual and collective performances and the defense had their most dominant outing of the season by holding Cincinnati’s offense to franchise record-low 40 snaps.

Here are some of the offensive standouts from their impressive Week 17 victory:

S Chuck Clark

The 2020 Pro Bowl snub had his best game of the season and by far his most impressive in coverage. He displayed the superb ball skills and instincts that his detractors believe kept him off the all-star roster.

Clark tied for the team lead in passes defensed and recorded his first interception of the season and third of his career on an incredibly athletic play.

He jumped in front of a pass intended for Bengals wide receiver AJ Green deep down the right sideline and was able to both feet in bounds before his momentum carried him out.

CB Marcus Peters

Baltimore Ravens cornerback Marcus Peters (24) intercepts a pass in the end zone intended for Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green (18) during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Bryan Woolston)

In his first game back in action from a calf injury that caused him to miss the Ravens’ previous two games, the All Pro cornerback had a great game. He moved well in space and did not show any residual rust in coverage.

Peters recorded a solo tackle and a pass deflection but his most impressive and impactful play came when he corralled his fourth interception of the season.

The Bengals had moved the ball all the way down to the Ravens four-yard line in just three plays that included a 55-yard run and back-to-back defensive pass interference penalties, the last of which was questionably called on Peters.

On the very next play after getting flagged, Peters corralled an underthrown pass that was intended for AJ Green in the back of the end zone with one hand before sprinting down the sideline and tossing the ball into the crowd in celebration.

CB Anthony Averett

Baltimore Ravens’ Anthony Averett warms up before an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Chris Szagola)

The third-year pro has been playing some of the best football of his career as of late and Sunday was perhaps his best game to date. Even though he did not record an interception, he got dangerous close and played a huge role in limiting the Bengals’ passing game to a season-low 48 yards.

Averett tied Clark for the team lead in passes defensed with two of his own. He had a golden opportunity to turn his second into six points but he couldn’t make a clean enough break on the ball to haul it for the turnover.

While he still undercut the ball excellently, had he been able to reel it in, he would’ve waltzed into the end zone for his first career interception and touchdown.

Averett did a good job tackling as well and finished with two solos where he fought through a block and a failed pick play to bring down the ball carriers for short gains. He also drew an offensive pass interference in the first quarter and was flagged for defensive pass interference in the third.

OLB Tyus Bowser

The fourth-year outside linebacker shined bright in his second career start. Even though the Ravens didn’t record a single sack after they racked up a season-high seven against the Bengals in Week Five, that didn’t stop Bowser from making his presence felt.

He set the edge well against the run and even recorded a tackle for loss by forcing Cincinnati running back Samajae Perine out of bounds for a two-yard loss before he could turn the corner and get upfield after receiving the pitch handoff.

Bowser finished with three solo tackle, a quarterback hit and he teamed up with veteran edge defender Pernell McPhee to pressure Bengals quarterback Brandon Allen into an intentional grounding penalty after he threw the ball away short of the line of scrimmage while still inside the pocket.

Honorable mentions:

OLB Matthew Judon

The two-time Pro Bowler did not record a sack or quarterback hit in what might have been his final regular-season game as a Raven but his six total tackles led the team and he played with a lot of energy and hustle.

ILB Patrick Queen

The Ravens first-round pick finished his first NFL regular season with a solid outing against the Bengals despite playing the fewest snaps (29) and third-fewest snap percentage (67) of his rookie year.

He tacked on four more combined tackles to his team season leading total including one for a loss where he knifed into the backfield and brought down Cincinnati running back Trayveon Williams for a two-yard loss.

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  1. January 5, 2021

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