Lamar Jackson threw for 237 yards and ran for 54 as Baltimore’s new offense found a better rhythm and the defense, despite being down two starting backs, held off Joe Burrow and the Bengals’ vaunted receivers group.
Read below for game updates and analysis.
Fourth quarter: Ravens 27, Bengals 24
In case you were wondering who the Ravens’ clock eater on the ground would be, it’s ... uhh... Devin Duvernay? His end around basically ended this game after the Bengals used their final timeout. One additional run gave the Ravens a fresh set of downs, allowing them to kneel and get out of town with an important win.
One pivotal first down earned
The Ravens faced a third-and-3, the Cincinnati crowd was going nuts, it seemed like this would be the play that turned the game finally in the Bengals’ favor, and ... Lamar Jackson stepped swiftly out of an imploding pocket and darted ahead for a first down.
The Orioles are now losing 3-2, but the Rangers continue to trail. So they could lose and then clinch. Everything is happening all at once for Baltimore sports right now.
Ravens 27, Bengals 24 (3:28)
Joe Burrow is a crafty player under pressure, as he has shown repeatedly, and that didn’t stop on this drive. He converted a fourth-and-3 just inside the 50-yard line, then the Bengals went tempo and pushed quickly into the red zone.
The Ravens once again could not contain Tee Higgins in the end zone. Just no answer for him. Burrow wasn’t perfect on the drive, but he made the throws he had to make.
First three-and-out for Ravens
The Ravens’ offense stalls for the first time, and the Bengals have 7:40 left to erase a 10-point lead.
Ravens 27, Bengals 17 (11:38)
The Ravens faced a second-and-23 after another holding penalty and the throw Jackson made, to Mark Andrews in the middle, was brilliant. Jackson read the coverage, knew when Andrews would pop open and delivered the ball into a tight window. That left Baltimore with a third-and-3, which it picked up.
Then Jackson finished the drive with another beautiful throw, this time to Nelson Agholor breaking toward the pylon after starting in the slot. The Ravens converted three third downs on the drive and, if you’re wondering who is winning the battle of the Got-Paid QBs, there’s this: According to rbsdm.com, Jackson has been worth 13.1 expected points added today, while Joe Burrow has accounted for zero. Jackson also has a 5.7 completion percentage above expected on an average depth of target of 9.5. Burrow has a 7.3 CPOE but only 4 aDoT.
Third quarter: Ravens 20-17
The Orioles and Rays are tied 1-1 in the seventh, but the Guardians have taken a 9-1 lead on the Rangers in the sixth. Baltimore will clinch with a win or Rangers loss, so this is almost certainly happening.
Ravens 20, Bengals 17 (2:34)
OK. Probably should have seen that coming.
Joe Burrow marches his team down the field before finding Tee Higgins on an impossible-to-stop out route, and Baltimore’s lead is down to 3.
Ravens 20, Bengals 10 (8:39)
The Ravens, coming off a turnover, really needed seven. They’ve dominated the Bengals for several quarters in a row now, dating to last season, without seeming to be able to pull away.
A deep throw and catch — both were special — from Lamar Jackson to Zay Flowers set them up to get that touchdown. I love the boldness of it all: the play call, the throw to a guy who was not actually all that open, the short wide receiver yanking the ball away.
The Ravens, showing deep faith in Flowers, tried to get him in with carries on the next two plays, but he was stopped. So Lamar turned to — who else? — Mark Andrews for the score.
Odell Beckham Jr. out
He’s got an ankle injury.
Reserve safety makes big play
All of which didn’t ultimately matter because Geno Stone, making the start at safety for the injured Marcus Williams, stepped in front of a Burrow pass headed for the end zone, picked it off and returned it to the Ravens’ 38-yard-line. All of which didn’t ultimately matter because Geno Stone, making the start at safety for the injured Marcus Williams, stepped in front of a Burrow pass headed for the end zone, picked it off and returned it to the Ravens’ 38-yard-line.
The Ravens entered Sunday with concerns about how their injury-depleted offensive line and secondary would hold up against the Bengals. So far, so good.
Lamar Jackson, swarmed in the pocket for parts of Week 1, has been pressured on just two of his 24 drop-backs, according to the NFL’s Next Gen Stats. Left tackle Patrick Mekari, playing in place of the injured Ronnie Stanley (knee), has held his own against Bengals star defensive end Trey Hendrickson. Center Sam Mustipher, the Owings Mills native who’s standing in for Tyler Linderbaum (ankle), was called for a holding penalty on a run by Jackson but has been solid in pass protection. The Ravens are averaging 4.2 yards per carry against a stout Cincinnati front.
On defense, meanwhile, the Ravens have forced the Bengals into check-down after check-down. Quarterback Joe Burrow has attempted just one pass of at least 10 air yards, though a pass to Pro Bowl wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase did draw a 17-yard pass interference penalty. Despite missing cornerback Marlon Humphrey and safety Marcus Williams, the Ravens have held Burrow to 8-for-11 passing for 35 yards (3.2 per attempt).
The Ravens haven’t recorded a pressure on Burrow, according to NGS, but Burrow’s rarely held the ball long. Nine of his 11 attempts have been released in 2.5 seconds or less.
— Jonas Shaffer
The O’s tied the game at 1 in the fourth on a single by Austin Hays that scored Ryan O’Hearn.
In the other game that matters this afternoon, the Rangers and Guardians are also tied 1-1; the Orioles clinch if the Rangers lose.
Second quarter: Ravens 13, Bengals 10
Ravens 13, Bengals 10 (00:00)
A promising two-minute drill was derailed by penalties, a dropped pass and what appeared to be miscommunication on a play, but Justin Tucker hit from 40-yards to put Baltimore ahead going into the half.
It was probably a frustrating end for John Harbaugh and his coaching staff, but there have been positives so far.
Lamar Jackson looks more comfortable, completing 16 of 24 passes for 141 yards, and has also run for 29 yards. He has targeted eight receivers and connected with seven.
This is what we expected from Todd Monken’s offense.
Bengals 10, Ravens 10 (3:01)
Scroll down one entry and you’ll note that I theorized the Bengals would not be inept on offense all day. It was a safe bet, because they pretty easily cut through the Ravens’ defense — in part by turning to the run — to earn their first red zone trip of the season on the next drive.
The Ravens forced a field goal thanks to two good plays by Patrick Queen chasing down running backs after they had taken swing passes and Rock Ya-Sin bullying Ja’Marr Chase on a throw at the front of the end zone. That is one thing Ya-Sin, who did not start, can do.
Ravens 10, Bengals 7 (9:15)
I don’t know what I would have typed here had Justin Tucker missed a second field goal in the wake of the Ravens giving up a special teams touchdown. That’s just not a scenario I’ve prepared any words for.
Good thing Tucker drilled his 44-yarder. I’m somewhat surprised Ravens coach John Harbaugh wasn’t more aggressive there — the Bengals are unlikely to be stymied on offense all day, so get more points — but we’ll see how it plays out.
Quick O’s update
Brandon Lowe took Dean Kremer yard in the first inning to give the Rays a 1-0 lead.
Bengals 7, Ravens 7 (13:14)
You don’t see too many special teams mistakes from Baltimore. But poor coverage on a punt gave Bengals rookie Charlie Jones room to run, and he went 81 yards to tie the game. The officials did throw a flag for what appeared to be an illegal block, but declared no penalty after a conversation.
Lamar bailed out
Lamar Jackson had two fumbles in Week 1 and lost one of them. He fumbled on third down early in the second quarter today and the Bengals recovered, and would have had great field position, but the play was called back on a penalty. The QB doesn’t seem to be up to game speed when it comes to sensing tacklers and protecting the football.
The Ravens have controlled this game, albeit with only one touchdown to show for it. The reason for concern? Odell Beckham Jr. missed the opening plays of the team’s drive at the end of the first quarter after being looked at by the medical staff on the sideline. He’s got his helmet on and appears to be available, but it’s worth monitoring.
First quarter: Ravens 7, Bengals 0
The Ravens have forced three-and-outs on the Bengals’ first two possessions, with middle linebacker Patrick Queen causing the second with a solid read and tackle on what looked like a promising dump-off.
Meanwhile, at Camden Yards, where the game will start in a few minutes ...
Ravens 7, Bengals 0 (3:18)
Justin Tucker misses a 59-yard field goal wide right. On the prior play, Lamar Jackson had Zay Flowers streaking toward the end zone but — and stop me if you’ve heard this one — could not drop the ball into his hands, missing by several yards.
Ravens 7, Bengals 0 (7:12)
You couldn’t ask for much more from an opening drive.
Lamar Jackson was 5-for-5 for 38 yards. Odell Beckham Jr. got involved early, with the first catch of the game. Zay Flowers drew an important pass interference call. The revamped offensive line held up. The running game stayed on schedule without J.K. Dobbins. Baltimore used nearly eight minutes of game clock.
The Ravens have had a good plan for slowing Joe Burrow in recent games, but not letting him get the football is also a good way to limit his effectiveness.
The scene before the game
No real surprises for the Ravens, as they get tight end Mark Andrews back from a quadriceps injury. That was expected, since he practiced without restrictions Friday. They are without two starting offensive linemen, left tackle Ronnie Stanley and center Tyler Linderbaum, and two starting defensive backs in corner Marlon Humphrey and safety Marcus Williams.
No real surprises for the Bengals, either. Besides being without backup running back Chris Evans, their inactives are the same as Week 1.
QB Tyler Huntley
CB Arthur Maulet
S Marcus Williams
CB Marlon Humphrey
C Tyler Linderbaum
LT Ronnie Stanley
TE Charlie Kolar
RB Chris Evans
CB DJ Ivey
DE Joseph Ossai
C Trey Hill
OT Jackson Carman