Top takeaways from Ravens dominant win over Bengals: Patrick Queen for DROY
The Baltimore Ravens improved their record to 4-1 and won their second straight game since losing their first to the Kansas City Chiefs by using an explosive first quarter from their offense and a phenomenal performance by their defense to dominate the Cincinnati Bengals 27-3 in Week Five.
Here is one of the top takeaways that I observed from the Ravens second blowout over an AFC North opponent by more than 20 points:
Patrick Queen should be front runner for DROY
The Ravens’ first-round pick in this year’s draft was considered one of the front runners to win the NFL’s Defensive Rookie of the Year award shortly after he was selected with the 28th overall pick out of LSU back in April. Fast forward five games into the 2020 regular season and he should be the top candidate to come away with the hardware.
Queen followed up a great bounce-back game against the Washington Football Team where he recorded career highs with 12 total tackle and three for loss with an even better performance against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday.
He was a huge part of the Ravens’ phenomenal defensive performance that nearly shutout the Bengals and terrorized his former college teammate and first overall pick, Joe Burrow, from start to finish.
Queen became just the third player in franchise history to become an instant starter at the inside linebacker position and has not only been a tackling machine for Baltimore’s defense, but he’s been an immediate playmaker as well.
Against the Bengals and Burrow, he was all over the field finished the game tied for the team lead in total tackles with nine and led the team in solo tackles with six. He also recorded a sack, a quarterback hit, a forced fumble, recovered two fumbles, and scored his first career touchdown on a 53-yard return of one of his fumble recoveries.
On his second career sack, he came off the edge on a blitz and showed off his relentless motor and tremendous backside pursuit as he hawked down Burrow from behind and delivered a vicious hit that helped him pull off the hat trick in one fell swoop. He was credited with the sack, forced a fumble, and fell on the ball for the recovery.
Queen collaborated with First Team All-Pro cornerback and legitimate Defensive Player of the Year candidate Marlon Humphrey to plunge the final dagger into the fleeting hopes of a Bengals comeback in the fourth quarter. After Humphrey forced what has become his weekly fumble via punch out, Queen was there to scoop of the loose ball and take if back for the Ravens only touchdown after the first quarter and the first of what is looking like a promising career.
“Score,” Queen said. “Nothing else but score. I’ve seen a lot of people get chased down on scoop and scores the last couple of weeks. I didn’t want to be one of them.”
As excellent as he has been near the line of scrimmage and defending the run, after being a bit targeted and criticized for his performance in coverage in the previous two games, Queen showed improvement in both man and zone in Week Five.
“He did a really good job in coverage across the board,” Head Coach John Harbaugh said. “He was all over the field. I just thought he was better in coverage. I thought he did a really good job after the first completion. He did a good job manning zone coverage, and he just played a really solid game.”
Heading into this matchup Burrow was neck and neck with Justin Herbert of the Los Angeles Chargers in the running for the most impressive rookie quarterback and Offensive Rookie of the Year odds. However, after running into the Ravens, his OROY stock took almost as big of a hit as he did several times in this contest while Queen’s case for DROY was made almost ironclad.
“I knew that when I got drafted and Joe got drafted, we were going to be seeing each other twice a year,” Queen said. “It’s a start of a great rivalry and I’m glad I got the first win out of it.”
It won’t be much of a rivalry until the Bengals are on the winning side of one of these matchups which have not happened since reigning league MVP Lamar Jackson took over the reins on offense. Jackson is now 4-0 in his career against Cincinnati and Queen is up 1-0 in the head-to-head matchup between himself and Burrow to start their respective careers.