Ravens-Bengals: What We Learned
The Ravens extended their winning streak to five games by routing the winless Cincinnati Bengals 49-13.
Here's what we learned:
1. The Bengals tried to stack the box, so quarterback Lamar Jackson beat them through the air, Baltimore's offense is playing at an incredibly high level thanks to Jackson's prowess and Greg Roman's scheme. Jackson completed 15 of 17 passes for 223 yards with three touchdowns and a perfect 158.3 rating. He is just the second player in NFL history to produce a perfect passer rating (158.3) in multiple games in a single season, joining Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who accomplished the feat in 2007. But his most electrifying play came on the ground with a highlight-reel 47-yard run. It was the longest rush by a quarterback since Cam Newton on Dec 10, 2017 (62 yards), according to ESPN. Jackson continues to make a case for league MVP.
2. The decision to acquire cornerback Marcus Peters from the Rams continues to pay dividends. Peters had his second pick-six of the season in the second quarter. Linebacker Tyus Bowser also returned a fumble 34 yards for another score. The Ravens lead the NFL with five defensive touchdowns. Credit defensive coordinator Don Martindale with fixing some of the communication breakdowns that hampered his unit earlier this season.
3. Baltimore improved to 7-2 and tightened its grip on the AFC North. It's the third time in franchise history the Ravens are 7-2, joining the 2006 team, which finished with the team's best-ever regular-season mark at 13-3, and 2012 when they won their second Super Bowl. While the Ravens still have tough games against the Texas, 49ers Rams, and Bills, they are clearly in the driver's seat to host a playoff game for the second straight year.