Bengals' Winners & Losers vs Ravens
Against the sixth-ranked rushing defense, with a rookie QB making his debut, and a lacking OL, Joe Mixon showed he can still play at a high level in spite of it all. Looking far better than any other Bengals player on the day, Mixon ended his day with his first 100+ yard rushing game this season on a career-high 30 carries. Averaging 3.8 YPC, he also tacked on 37 yards on 2 catches.
Remaining to be the most consistent player on this team, Bullock continued his perfect streak of 10 straight field goals since week 2, going 2/2 today.
If they didn’t want to learn their lesson from last time, the Ravens TEs made sure they paid close attention today. As Lamar gashed them for 223 yards on 15/17 passing & a perfect QBR, Baltimore’s elite TE trio hauled in 11 of those receptions for 143 yards.
Quickly, Mark Andrews accounted for 2 of Lamar’s three passing touchdowns; they had no answers into stopping a Raven’s offense that averaged 8.4 yards per play. Whether it was Preston Brown attempting to keep up with Andrews on the seam or Nick Vigil making his most “courageous” attempt to tackle Jackson in the open field, they represent the exact nature of this team, and specifically this defense.
The Bengals wanted answers & now they got them. Mind you, it was Ryan Finley’s first start against an experienced, talented Ravens defense, but his performance became unbearable along with the game.
After starting the first half 8-14 (57%) for 84 yards with 1 TD & an INT, the mistakes continued as the Ravens blew the game open. With his early INT leading to a pick-six by CB Marcus Peters, Baltimore also forced Finley to fumble on a scoop & score to essentially put this game out of reach. The odds already previewed a formidable win for the Ravens, but Finley didn’t do much to stop the bleeding. At points, he seemed serviceable, but in order to change any minds come April, convincing is needed even against the NFL’s best.
Leading Cincinnati to a mere 10 points, Finley & company remained scoreless in the second half, starting the beginning to the end of the most forgettable type of season.