Lamar Jackson Shines in Win Over Bengals

Lamar Jackson hurdles a Bengals defender during the Ravens 27-24 win on Sunday. Sam Greene/The Enquirer/USA TODAY NETWORK

The Baltimore Ravens defeated the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday by a final of 27-24. Sundays win moves the Ravens to 2-0 on the year and 1-0 in the AFC North while Sundays loss for the Bengals drops them to a disappointing 0-2 start and 0-2 within the AFC North. The win also makes Lamar Jackson now 7-1 all-time against the Bengals and 3-1 when facing Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow.

Sunday was an important win for the Ravens as they had lost the previous three meetings to the Bengals in Cincinnati including the heartbreaker in the AFC Wildcard round. While the score indicates a close win the Ravens never relinquished the lead at any point during the game as they took their opening offensive drive of the game 75-yard in 13 plays capped off by a one-yard Gus Edwards run.

Long drives for the Ravens offense was the story on Sunday as it not only led to points but also allowed the Ravens defense time to rest and kept Joe Burrow and the Bengals offense off the field. While the Ravens offense was moving the ball the Ravens defense was keeping the Bengals out of the end zone, but a 81-yard punt return by Bengals wide receiver Charlie Jones early in the second quarter helped keep the game close at halftime.

Opening up the second half Joe Burrow and the Bengals looked poised to not only score their first offensive touchdown of the day, but their first offensive touchdown of the year. Burrow would lead the Bengals down to the Ravens 17 yard line but on second and eight would be intercepted by Ravens safety Geno Stone and returned 36-yards to the Ravens 38 yard line. The turnover would lead to a Mark Andrews three-yard touchdown reception his first of the year after missing last week with an injury.

The Bengals offense would finally find the end zone on their next possession as Burrow found his receiver Tee Higgins for the three-yard score to cap off a 13-play 75-yard drive to cut the Ravens lead 20-17. Lamar Jackson was unfazed by the Bengals repeated bunches back and didn’t flinch as he led a scoring drive of his own on the Ravens next offensive possession. Using a combination of his legs and arm Jackson moved the ravens down to the Bengals 25 yard line before completing a beautiful pass over the shoulder to Nelson Agholor for the 17-yard score.

The Bengals would punch back one more time but it would be too late as the Burrow once again found Higgins this time for a four-yard touchdown cutting the Ravens lead 27-24 with just over three minutes in the game. The Ravens were able to run out the remaining time as Jackson scrambled for 12-yards on third and three to seal the victory.

Jackson and the Ravens offense looked much more comfortable on Sunday compared to week one. Jackson finished with a season high 237 yards on 24-for-33 passing while throwing for two touchdowns. Jackson’s ability to extend plays was a factor in Sundays win as the Bengals struggled to not only stop him through the air but also on the ground as Jackson rushed for 54 yards on 12 attempts. Seven different Ravens receivers caught a pass with Agholor scoring his first touchdown as a Raven and leading the team with 63 receiving yards on five catches.

While the Ravens offense shined, the Ravens defense is not too be forgotten as the held Joe Burrow to 22 yards on 27-for-41 passing and forcing one turnover. Outside linebacker Jadeveon Clowney recorded his first sack as a Raven, while the team pressured Burrow all day recording five quarterback hits. The front seven continues to be the the most impactful part of this defense not only forcing pressure onto the quarterback but stopping the run. The Bengals were held to just 66 yards on the ground after giving up just 72 last week against the Texans.

Ravens cornerback Marlon Humphrey remained sidelined for Sunday but the group effort of Brandon Stephens, Rock Ya-Sin, and Ronald Darby helped to limit Bengals receiver Ja’Marr Chase and his impact as Chase finished Sunday with just 31 yards on five catches.

The Ravens now return home next Sunday to take on Indianapolis who is currently 1-1 under rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson. Richardson will be the second rookie quarterback to face the Ravens this season and the second in the first three week.

Notable Injuries:

Odell Beckham Jr. (Ankle)- Day to Day

Odafe Oweh (Ankle)- Day to Day

Games Notes:

Safety Geno Stone led all Ravens with nine total tackles.

Running back Gus Edward led all rushers with 62 yards on the ground.

Quarterback Lamar Jackson faced a career-low 9.1% pressure rate.

Wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. helped force his third penalty in two games.

Wide receiver Zay Flowers is currently on pace to have 98 receptions for 1,190 yards.

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