Ravens Defense No Match For Joe Burrow and the Bengals

The Ravens came into Sunday’s matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals with an opportunity to take control of first place in the AFC north. After a 41-17 beat down at the hands of the Bengals in week seven, the Ravens looked to get revenge.

The Ravens were without both Lamar Jackson, as well as backup Tyler Huntley who had a positive Covid test on Saturday putting him out for Sunday’s contest. Veteran quarterback Josh Johnson would be the next man up to lead the Ravens offense, signed just ten days prior he would be tasked with leading the Ravens in one of the most important games of the year. But the downfall for the Ravens on Sunday would be the defenses inability to stop Joe Burrow and the Bengals offense as they once again scored 40 points in a 41-21 drubbing of the Ravens to take sole possession of first place in the AFC north.

Joe Burrow and the Bengals offense took the field first looking to pick up where they left off against the Ravens earlier in the year, and that they did. Joe Burrow found his receiver Tee Higgins three times on the drive for 48 yards, as they drove down to the Ravens 12 yard line. The drive would stall for the Bengals as they had to settle for a Evan McPherson 30-yard field goal to take the early 3-0 lead.

It was Josh Johnson’s turn to take the field and lead the Ravens offense as they tried to answer the Bengals early score. Johnson looked poised throwing on his first three plays completing two passes to Rashad Bateman and one to Mark Andrews respectively. Johnson efficiently led the Ravens down the field only facing two third downs. On third down from the Bengals four yard line Johnson found Bateman in the back of the end zone for the rookies first career touchdown, giving the Ravens a 7-3 lead.

But much would be the theme on Sunday the Bengals offense returned to the field, as Joe Burrow led his offense on a 10 play 74-yard drive finished off by a Joe Mixon one-yard run to give the Bengals the led right back.

The Ravens would go three and out on their next drive, giving the ball quickly back to the Bengals. The Bengals wasted no time as Burrow found his receiver Tyler Boyd down the middle of the field for a 68-yard touchdown on just the second play of the drive. The Bengals now held a 17-7 lead early in the second quarter.

Another three and out by Johnson and the Ravens gave the Bengals the ball back as they started their next possession from their own 42 yard line. On the fourth play of the drive Burrow would find Ja’Marr Chase for 20-yards down to the Ravens 27 yard line. Three plays later Mixon would find the end zone again, this time a nine-yard pass from Burrow.

Now down 24-7, midway through the second quarter, the Ravens needed an answer to keep this game from slipping away. Johnson would lean heavily on his pro bowl tight end as Mark Andrews caught three passes for 50-yards on the drive as the Ravens moved inside the Bengals five yard line. With just under two minutes remaining in the half Devonta Freeman found the end zone from two-yards out to give the Ravens a much needed score to cut the Bengals lead to 24-14.

The Bengals would take over with 1:38 left in the half and one timeout. A 52-yard completion to Tee Higgins on the fifth play of the drive would get the Bengals to the three yard line of the Ravens with just under a minute remaining. On second down from the Ravens three yard line Burrow looked for Chase in the end zone but would be intercepted by Ravens cornerback Daryl Worley. Bu the interception would not stand as Worley was called for defensive holding, giving the Bengals an automatic first down. Two plays later Burrow found Higgins for a one-yard score to take a 31-14 lead into the half.

The Ravens opening possession of the second half would yield no points as they punted after an eight play drive got just 18-yards.

The Bengals picked up right where they left off, going on their best drive of the game. Burrow used his arm as he spread it around to his receivers Tee Higgins, Ja’Marr Chase, and tight end C.J. Uzomah, as the Bengals offense went on a 19 play 68-yard drive that took up just over ten minutes of game time. While the Ravens defense was out their for most of the third quarter, they held strong forcing the Bengals into a 36-yard field goal attempt. McPherson’s kick was good to extend the Bengals lead 34-14.

With the game slowing getting out of reach for the Ravens, Jonson led the Ravens on a quick five play scoring drive, finding Andrews for the 18-yard touchdown, Johnson’s second touchdown pass of the game.

But much like they did all day, the Bengals would respond with their own score. This time it would be the dagger. Burrow once again would use his arm to spread the ball around to all his receivers as he led the Bengals on an eight play 78-yard drive finished off with a Higgins 10-yard touchdown, his second of the day.

The Bengals now held a 41-21 lead as the Ravens returned to the field trying to make a last ditch effort to stay in the game. But all hopes of a win would be lost as Latavius Murray would be stopped on fourth and short, turning the ball back over to the Bengals.

On the fifth play of the drive Burrow once again looked deep as he found a diving Tyler Boyd in the end zone. Initially ruled a touchdown, replay would over turn the call as the ball appeared to hit the ground. An incompletion on third down would bring out McPherson once again this time to attempt a 50-yard field goal. McPherson would be no good however, the first possession all game that the Bengals had failed to score on.

The Ravens took over from their own 40 yard line with 5:15 left in the game looking to make the score look somewhat respectable. Johnson passed his way down the field finding Marquise Brown on the third play of the drive for 14-yards. But three plays later Johnson looked for receiver James Proche but would be intercepted by Bengals safety Vonn Bell. Sealing the Bengals win, and sweeping the Ravens.

The Ravens have suffered four straight losses for only the second time in the John Harbaugh era, the only other time coming in 2016, where the team finished 8-8.

The Ravens now sit at 8-7, in eight place in the AFC playoffs. With just two games remaining the Ravens will need some outside help to get to that seven seed. But first they look to do their own part in winning their remaining games. The Ravens will look to end their four game losing streak, and keep pace in the AFC playoff race, as they return home to square off with the high powered offense of the Los Angeles Rams Sunday at 1 P.M.

Game Notes:

Mark Andrews is now 15 receiving yards away from breaking the Ravens single season receiving yards record.

Josh Johnson threw for 300 yards for only the second time in his career, the first coming this season in week 8 as a member of the Jets.

Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow threw for a career high 525 yard.

The Ravens were out gained 575-334.

Patrick Queen and Tony Jefferson led all Ravens with nine tackles.

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