Ravens Get First Home Win, Squeak Past Bengals
The Baltimore Ravens secured their first home win of 2022 after defeating the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday night by a final of 19-17. The Ravens now move to 3-2 on the season and take sole possession of first place in the AFC North.
The Ravens grabbed momentum early as they Lamar Jackson and Ravens offense easily moved the ball into Bengals territory going on a 10-play 51 yard drive before stalling at the Bengals 19 yard line. Justin Tucker would connect on a 37-yard field goal to give the Ravens a quick 3-0 lead.
The Bengals would fail to gain any traction on their next two offensive possessions giving the Ravens the ball back late in the first quarter. The Ravens would once again march down the field this time with Jackson finding his tight end Mark Andrews for an 11-yard score to cap off a seven play 50 yard drive. That touchdown through would be the Ravens only touchdown of the night.
The Bengals once again went three and out on their opening drive of the second quarter. However the momentum of the game would flip in the Bengals favor on the Ravens next drive. Lamar Jackson dropped back to pass looking late to his receiver Demarcus Robinson. Bengals safety Vonn Bell jumped the route making a leaping interception to keep the Bengals in the game.
Joe Burrow and the Bengals would capitalize off the Jackson turnover going on a seven play 83 yard scoring drive. Burrow found former Ravens, tight end Hayden Hurst for a 19-yard score to cut the Ravens lead 10-7.
The Bengals would add a field goal with seconds remaining in the first half to tie the score at 10 heading into halftime.
With the momentum clearly on the Bengals side heading into the second half the Ravens defense needed to make a play, and they did just that. On the Bengals first offensive play of the third quarter, Joe Burrow looked to force the ball in the middle of the field to his receiver Ja’Marr Chase. Ravens linebacker Patrick Queen underneath in coverage jumped up to make the interception off his former LSU teammate.
With good field position the Ravens looked to open the game wide open as they took over on the Bengals 46 yard line. But the Ravens offense failed to gain a first down having to settle for a 58-yard field off the leg of Justin Tucker to take a 13-10 lead.
The Bengals look to take back the lead on their next drive as Joe Burrow used his arm to get the Bengals offense all the way down to the Ravens two yard line. After failing to score on three plays the Bengals went for it on fourth and goal. While it has been a common theme for the Ravens defense to falter in these situations. Sunday night was a different story as the defense stood tall forcing a short shovel pass from Burrow to fall incomplete.
On the Ravens final possession of the third quarter, the Ravens got back to their old ways, as they went on a 91 yard 15-play drive down to the Bengals seven yard line chewing up just over eight minutes of game time. On fourth and five head coach John Harbaugh was faced with another fourth down and short decision. After initially leaving the offense on the field, the Ravens tried to get the Bengals to jump offside before taking a delay of game penalty and sending Justin Tucker on for an an easy 25-yard field goal to take a 16-10 lead with just over nine minutes left in the game.
The Ravens defense once again looked to come up clutch, but Joe Burrow and running back Joe Mixon had other plans as they marched right down the field to the Ravens one yard line. One the first play after the two-minute warning Burrow went off the right guard pushing his way into the end zone to give the Bengals a one point lead with 1:58 remaining, their first lead of the night.
With three timeouts the Ravens had plenty of time to move to within Tuckers range for a game winning field goal. The Ravens put the ball in Jacksons hands as he rushed for gains of 19, 4, and 3 yards while also finding Mark Andrews for gains of seven and eight yards as he got the Ravens down to the Bengals 25 yard line, well within range for the most accurate kicker in NFL history. With just three seconds remaining from the middle of the field, Tucker, like so many times before was good right down the middle to give the Ravens a huge win over a division rival.
After blowing leads of 21 and 17 at home the Ravens looked to stay on the right side of history by not becoming the first team to lose their first three home games after leading by 10 points or more. But after taking a quick 10-0 lead Sunday night and quickly giving it back it could have been easy for the Ravens to breakdown and not finish.
But while the offense struggled at times they appeared to get back to form running the ball with a healthy J.K Dobbins as well as a healthy Ronnie Stanley at left tackle who made his season debut Sunday night. The biggest contributions however came on the defensive side of the ball as they held Burrow to 217 yards passing and sacking him three times. The secondary also did a great job not allowing a Bengals receiver to go over 100 yards something they didn’t do last season.
The Ravens now head north to take on the New York Giants as they look to make it two wins in a row for the first time this season.
Marcus Williams (Wrist) Placed on IR, not season ending
Patrick Queen recorded his second career interception.
Lamar Jackson became the quickest quarterback to rush for 4,000 yards (63 games).
Lamar Jackson had an interception for the third straight game, the longest streak of his career.
Mark Andrews reached 295 career catches Sunday night.
Devin Duvernay has a career high 78 yards from scrimmage, 54 yards receiving, and 24 yards rushing.