With the Steelers and Browns on their bye weeks, the Ravens and Bengals were the only AFC North squads to take the field this past weekend. Cincinnati dropped another home game to the Jaguars and remain winless on the season.
Baltimore, though, picked up an upset victory over Russell Wilson and the Seahawks on the road. Lamar Jackson and company now have a three-game advantage over Cleveland and Pittsburgh in the division and sit alone at No. 1.
Jaguars defeat Bengals: 27-17
Another week, another loss for the Bengals - who are now a dismal 0-7 in Zac Taylor’s debut season as the team’s head coach. Up until the fourth quarter, the Bengals were competitive against Jacksonville. In fact, they held a narrow lead at halftime and regained a one-point advantage just before the final frame of play. This has become a common theme in almost all of their games; the Bengals keep it close for awhile and despite looking prime for a victory at some point in the game, they falter late and lose. QB Andy Dalton has had some good moments this season, but Sunday was not one of them.
Dalton threw three consecutive interceptions in the fourth quarter, one of which was returned for a back-breaking touchdown. Cincinnati’s offensive line continued to struggle in opening up rushing lanes for Joe Mixon, who turned 10 carries into just two yards. Defensively, the Bengals were gashed on the ground by Leonard Fournette, who rushed for 131 yards. As a team, the Jaguars gained 216 rushing yards on 4.9 YPC.
Defining stat: 1.7 yards per carry
What’s next: @ Los Angeles Rams - Sunday, Oct. 27 (1:00 PM)
Ravens defeat Seahawks: 30-16
Entering a hostile environment against a perennial playoff team, the Ravens played maybe their best game of the season - considering level of competition. Baltimore’s defense proved up to the task of slowing down MVP frontrunner Russell Wilson, limiting him to just 241 passing yards on 41 attempts. Wilson also threw his first interception of the season to CB Marcus Peters, who shined in his debut with the Ravens. Strong performances from the likes of L.J. Fort, Josh Bynes, and Brandon Williams contributed to the collective effort.
The Ravens offense scored just one touchdown, but it came at a very timely moment. With the game knotted up at 13-13 and the Ravens facing a 4th & 2 in the red zone, Lamar Jackson told John Harbaugh “let’s go for it”. He proceeded to score an 8-yard rushing touchdown to give his team a cushion. Jackson ripped off several big runs in crunch time, finishing with 116 rushing yards on 14 carries. If not for several drops from his receivers, Jackson’s passing numbers would have looked far better, too.
Defining stat: 2 defensive touchdowns
What’s next: Bye Week