The Ravens got steamrolled by the Bengals in their second matchup of the season. Behind a slow offense, the Bengals' defense eked out a few plays against a Raven offense that simply couldn't move the ball. While on the surface the game looked bad for the Ravens, a look at the box score and statistics shows that a few Ravens shined in the lackluster game.
Discipline was present
In past games, the Ravens had been rampant in committing penalties. This time around, they kept that part of the game in check. The team only committed 4 penalties for 38 yards, which paled in comparison to the Bengals' 11 penalties for 72 yards. While Will Hill's hit on a defenseless receiver was absolutely baffling and stupid, it wasn't so bad in the scope of things.
Third down success
The Ravens went for a shocking 12-20 on the critical third down. That's pretty good in my book. Even more surprising though was that the winning team went 0-9 on third down conversions. While converting here usually correlates with winning, that was not the case in this one.
Battle of the Pro Bowl punters
This game featured two of the league's premier punters going at it. Sam Koch (2015) and Kevin Huber (2014) are both punters with Pro Bowl bids to their names, but Cincinnati's hometown hero came away with the win in this one. The Bengals' punter averaged 43.3 yards on seven punts, while Koch clocked in with a 42.5 yard average on four punts.
Maxx Williams shows his true colors
While tight ends take longer to develop than practically any other player in the league, it was quite easy to forget that and become slightly impatient with second-round selection Maxx Williams. The rookie tight end had been solid over the course of the year, but hadn't broken out like we wanted him to. But after his performance this week, fans are held over enough for the offseason. Maxx caught six balls for 53 yards. This included a few circus catches and a few near-catches. Maxx really shined brightly with both Nick Boyle and Crockett Gillmore absent, and continues to look like the future at the position.
Jeremy Butler makes his case to stick around
The Ravens almost have a logjam of young receiver talent, and Jeremy Butler is trying to make it clear that he doesn't want to be caught on the wrong side of that. Butler made some nice catches, and went for 57 yards on six catches. Butler also had a touchdown on a beautiful screen play, but it was called back due to a low throw by Ryan Mallett.
Fellow receiver Kamar Aiken also turned in another solid performance as the Ravens' leading receiver, and kept his streak of five receptions and 50+ yards alive, catching five passes for 76 yards.
C.J. Mosley leads the defense
C.J. Mosley has been sort of on and off after his rookie of the year caliber performance last season. At times, Mosley has struggled in defending the pass and tackling. That wasn't the case this week. Mosley's 12 total tackles (4 SOLO/8 AST.) led the team, and he also notched one sack. In defending the pass attack, running back Giovani Bernard had only one catch for 12 yards. Mosley also had a nice (and lucky) pass deflection where he didn't even look at the ball.
The Ravens end the season at 5-11. Just about no one saw this coming. This is tied for the franchise's second-worst record, equal to 2007's campaign that resulted in the firing of Brian Billick. This is also the worst record posted in the Harbaugh era, with the previous low being an even 8-8 in 2013. The result is going to equal a seventh selection or higher in the 2016 NFL Draft. This will be the Ravens' highest first-round selection since the 2000 draft, when Jamal Lewis was selected with the fifth pick.