In Week 7, Baltimore Ravens hosted the Cincinnati Bengals for what was supposed to be an AFC showdown. Instead, the home team wound up getting routed 41-17. As bad as the final result ultimately was, there were still some impressive performances that flew under the radar.
This article highlights the unheralded players who stood out but couldn’t receive their just recognition given how the game ultimately unfolded, the unsung heroes.
OLB Justin Houston
The 11-year veteran edge defender was an absolute menace in the first half and terrorized Bengals left tackle Jonah Williams for most of the afternoon. He appeared destined to cross the century sack mark at some point in the game with the way he was consistently generating pressure but Joe Burrow was able to get the ball away just before the pass rush could wrestle him down.
Justin Houston unblocked and smokes Burrow. Two pressures on first two plays.— Spencer N. Schultz (@ravens4dummies) October 25, 2021
Blitzing and not playing press is a combo that allows QB’s quick throws like this. pic.twitter.com/tPSn0c9Xy5
Houston finished with two total tackles, four quarterback hits and showed tremendous hustle on Jamar Chase’s 82-yard touchdown until it was clear that he wasn’t going to be able to catch him from behind.
CB Anthony Averett
The fourth-year cornerback was targeted early and often. While he gave up his fair share of receptions, he stood tall and answered the call more often than not, especially in the first half where he was playing lights out. Averett led the team in total tackles with seven, all of which were solos, and recorded a game-high three pass deflections.
Anthony Averett being targeted for the third time in the opening drive. Pressed on an island against Tee Higgins.— Spencer N. Schultz (@ravens4dummies) October 25, 2021
Hips, feet and plays through the catch point. Ball a bit high, but still in good position.
Nice drive at the stem. Flattens out and stays on the route. pic.twitter.com/5yowOmopvA
RB Devonta Freeman
The eighth-year veteran running back received only four carries and picked up 10 of his 14 yards on a single carry to start a drive late in the third quarter. He did score his second touchdown as a Raven from one yard out to tie the game at 10-10 late in the second quarter. Freeman was more effective and made more plays as a pass-catcher out of the backfield, catching all three of his targets for 25 yards.
ILB Josh Bynes
The 11-year veteran linebacker continued to be a stabilizing force in the middle of the Ravens defense especially in the first half where he played an integral role in making some key stops in short-yardage situations.
He called out plays and made the proper adjustments to the defensive alignment upfront to stuff several runs up the middle before the defense sprung some leaks late by allowing a pair of long touchdown runs that effectively put the game out of reach. Bynes tied for the second most total tackles on the team with six including five solos and one behind the line of scrimmage for a loss of five yards.