Revenge might not be so sweet
The Ravens haven’t had a defensive shutout since Week 6 of the 2018 season. They were oh-so-close to another one in last week’s game against the Bengals, except Cincinnati coach Zac Taylor opted for the most meaningless of meaningless field goals.
Down 27–0 with 32 seconds on the clock, Taylor sent out Randy Bullock for a 38-yard field goal. He made it. The Bengals knew the game was over, though, and didn’t even attempt an onside kick. The field goal was just about not going home empty-handed. (It was the fifth time since 1970 that a team kicked a field goal in the final minute to erase a shutout, according to ESPN.)
The cheap field goal didn’t sit well with Ravens defensive coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale. He told reporters on Thursday that he yelled at someone on the Bengals' sideline (perhaps Taylor, though it’s not clear) about the decision to kick.
“He knew what it was because it was awful quiet when I yelled it across the field,” Martindale said. “There are some people that take that as a victory. We’ll see. We'll have plenty to talk about the next time we play them.”
But here’s the thing about that looming grudge match: It’s in Week 17. The Bengals stink this year, so that game isn’t likely to mean much for them. The rest of the division is pretty good, with the Steelers leading the way at 4–0. The Ravens and Browns are 4–1. If Baltimore is able to pull away in the division race, there’s a good chance that game will be as meaningless as Cincinnati’s field goal. If Pittsburgh and Cleveland keep pace and the game actually matters for the Ravens, then they’ve got some bulletin board material—as long as Martindale is able to get his defense jacked up over something that happened three months earlier and didn’t affect the outcome of the game.
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