Burrow and the Bengals Survive the Ravens in Wild Card Nightcap

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Bengals 24, Ravens 17: Burrow and the Bengals Survive a Gritty AFC North Battle

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The Wild Card Weekend nightcap between the Bengals and Ravens was nothing short of the gritty AFC North battle you’ve come to expect. Tyler Huntley defied all expectations and played the game of his life under the lights in Cincinnati.

Playing in place of the injured Lamar Jackson, no one gave Huntley or the Ravens a chance, but they gave the Bengals all they could handle tonight. Baltimore pressured Burrow all night, forcing him to get rid of the ball quickly, sacking him four times. The Ravens bottled up Joe Mixon and forced Burrow to perform under less-than-ideal circumstances.

Burrow stayed poised, completed 23 of 32 passes for 209 yards, a touchdown and a 99.6 passer rating. But the Ravens took this one down to the wire with the game ending on a hail mary heave to the end zone with zeros on the clock and the Bengals up 24-17.

Unfortunately for the Ravens, they were a fingertip away from a tie or a shot at the win as their season came to an end in Cincinnati, but not without a heck of an effort.

Four Downs

1. Ravens Flocking

The last thing I expected was the Ravens taking the lead into the locker room at halftime. No disrespect to Tyler Huntley. But he’s no Lamar Jackson, and I wouldn’t have picked Baltimore if he was playing. So, to see Baltimore not only hang around but lead at the half was surprising.

Baltimore did an excellent job of limiting the big play and keeping the ball on the ground. The whole first half consisted of six drives, three-a-piece, and that’s exactly how the Ravens needed things to go.

2. Burrow for the Lead

Unfortunately for the Ravens, Joe Burrow is, well, Joe Burrow. After a Baltimore punt out of the half, Burrow orchestrated a masterclass of a 12-play, 88-yard touchdown drive. Burrow scored it with a quarterback sneak and then found Tee Higgins for the two-point conversion and the lead.

3. Sam Hubbard Scoop and Score

After hitting Demarcus Robinson for a 41-yard touchdown and getting the ball back with the game tied, Tyler Huntley was feeling it. For a good reason. He answered Burrow’s statement drive out of the half, and even drove the Ravens back down the field with his arm and feet.

Then disaster struck for Baltimore …

Logan Wilson punched the ball out on the Huntley leap, and Sam Hubbard scooped it up and took it 98 yards to the house. That gave the Bengals the lead and sucked the life out of all the momentum that Huntley and the Ravens had built.

4. Close, But No Cigar for Baltimore

The Ravens’ defense was excellent tonight. Tyler Huntley was outstanding tonight. The Ravens were 0.6 yards from the lead at one point, and then a fingertip from a tie on the end-of-game hail mary.

By the Numbers

  • 0.6: The distance between the football and the goal line on the Tyler Huntley goal-line fumble. The ball was 0.6 yards from giving the Ravens a touchdown lead.
  • 98: Sam Hubbard’s 98-yard fumble recovery for a touchdown was the longest in NFL playoff history. The eventual game-winner goes down in the record books.
  • 280: Tyler Huntley’s 226 passing yards and 54 rushing yards gave him 280 yards of total offense, a game-high.
  • 4: The Ravens’ defense sacked Joe Burrow four times tonight and had Burrow working on a short clock all night.


Author: Patrick K. Flowers

Patrick is the Lead NFL Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @PatrickKFlowers.