Ravens-Bengals: What We Learned
The Baltimore Ravens tightened their grip on first place in the AFC North with a 23-17 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 6.
The Ravens improved to 4-2 and have a two-game lead over the Cleveland Browns, who lost to the Seattle Seahawks 32-28.
Here's what we learned:
1. The Bengals had allowed 167.6 rushing yards per game, the second-highest total in the league. The Ravens astutely exploited that weakness and finished with 269 yards on the ground.
Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson led the charge and became the first player in the Super Bowl era to amass more than 200 yards passing and at least 150 yards rushing in a regular season game. Jackson completed 21 of 33 pass attempts for 236 yards. He also had 19 carries for 152 yards rushing with a touchdown.
The Ravens’ strength is with their run-blocking and that will key to hold onto the ball playing against some of the league’s top-tier attacks over the next several weeks. Jackson continues to marvel his teammates and coaches with his ability to make big plays.
Justin Tucker converted three field goals from 40, 49 and 21 yards and became the fastest kicker in NFL history (118 games) to score 1,000 career points (1,008).
2. The Ravens’ secondary, led by cornerback Marlon Humphrey, played much better against the Bengals. Humphrey had a key interception late in the first half that stalled a potential scoring drive by Cincinnati. Chuck Clark was effective wearing the green dot and filling the role of Tony Jefferson, who suffered a season-ending knee injury Week 5 against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton was 21 of 39 for 235 yards with a rushing touchdown. The Ravens still had a couple of pass interference penalties that need to be cleaned up. Overall, it was bounce back performance by the defense, which had allowed more than 500 yards of offense twice in the last three games.
3. This was a key victory for Baltimore heading into the tougher portion of its schedule. The Ravens improved to 4-2 and remain in first place in the AFC North after the Browns (2-4) lost to the Seahawks. However, Baltimore's schedule gets much tougher. The Ravens travel to Seattle for a Week 7 game before their bye (Oct. 27). Baltimore then has matchups against five playoff-caliber teams -- the Patriots (Nov. 3), Texans (Nov. 17), Rams (Nov. 25), 49ers (Dec. 1) and Bills (Dec. 8).