A week after dominating the Chargers, the Ravens received a Week 7 beating from the ascending Bengals. Cincinnati won the line-of-scrimmage on both sides of the ball and generated ten explosive offensive plays. Baltimore’s blocking unit surrendered five sacks and eight tackles for loss. The Ravens defense managed a single takedown of Joe Burrow while allowing 41 points and 520 yards at home.
Up front, Calais Campbell was effective, tallying five tackles, two quarterback hits and a half sack while shouldering 47 snaps (75%). Longtime Raven Brandon Williams had issues holding his ground against the Bengals power run game, he made one solo tackle on 37 snaps (59%). Justin Madubuike saw 33 snaps (52%) and flashed his quickness with a tackle for loss. With Broderick Washington inactive and Derek Wolfe injured, Justin Ellis served as the fourth defensive lineman with 18 quiet snaps.
For the second straight week, veteran Josh Bynes received the start at middle linebacker and played well, recording six tackles including one for a loss during a unit-leading 46 snaps (73%). Bynes’ insertion has allowed Patrick Queen to find his footing in a reduced role at weak side ‘backer, the former first round selection made a tackle for loss on 27 snaps (43%). Chris Board saw the field on 22 mostly passing down snaps and Malik Harrison rotated-in on 11 snaps.
Veteran Justin Houston turned-in a quality game, defeating Jonah Williams for four quarterback hits during 36 snaps (57%). Tyus Bowser led the edge rushers with 45 snaps (71%) and made an impact with a half sack and a few run stops. Rookie Odafe Oweh earned 38 snaps (60%) but was unable to disrupt Burrow’s quick passing game and Pernell McPhee rounded out the quartet with 19 snaps while Jaylon Ferguson remained inactive.
Star cornerback Marlon Humphrey uncharacteristically lost his battle with sensational rookie wideout Ja’Marr Chase. Nonetheless, Humphrey made a few positive plays including an end zone interception, forced fumble and pass breakup. Safeties Chuck Clark and DeShon Elliott joined Humphrey in playing each of the defense’s 63 snaps. Unfortunately, the safety tandem did not fare well, Elliott missed multiple tackles and Clark had a part in coverage miscommunications.
Anthony Averett held up admirably well to a barrage of targets intended for Tee Higgins, he broke up three passes and made seven solo tackles while lining-up for 56 snaps (89%). Tavon Young helped hold Tyler Boyd under 40 receiving yards and had a pass breakup during 35 snaps (56%). Reserve defensive backs Jimmy Smith and Brandon Stephens each saw 17 snaps (27%) in substitution packages.
On the offensive side of the ball, the receiving corps was the most successful group. Marquise Brown made another highlight reel touchdown catch and produced 80 yards, albeit on 14 targets, with an 86-percent snap share (63). Rookie Rashod Bateman matched Brown’s 80 receiving yards and displayed impressive run-after-catch ability on 46 snaps (63%). Tight end Mark Andrews also contributed 48 yards with three receptions on seven targets and 50 snaps (68%).
Backup tight end Josh Oliver supplied a pair of first downs during his 19 snap (26%) opportunity. Devin Duvernay saw 36 offensive snaps (49%) and secured an eleven yard reception. James Proche was called upon for 16 mostly garbage time snaps, Miles Boykin and Tylan Wallace saw four and two snaps, respectively. Backup quarterback Tyler Huntley completed five of 11 passes after relieving Lamar Jackson for the final 12 offensive plays.
With Latavius Murray nursing an ankle injury, Devonta Freeman, Le’Veon Bell and Ty’Son Williams comprised the Ravens running back committee. Freeman led the way with 36 all-purpose yards and a score on a 40% snap share (29). Bell averaged one yard per carry on five attempts and 22 snaps (30%). And Williams received four touches on 21 snaps (29%). Lamar produced 76.5% of Baltimore’s rushing yards against the Bengals.
The Ravens offensive tackles struggled to contain Cincinnati defensive ends Trey Hendrickson and Sam Hubbard. Left tackle Alejandro Villanueva was charged with ten pressures allowed. Villanueva and left guard Ben Powers were the only offensive lineman to play a full complement of 73 snaps. Fullback Patrick Ricard was utilized for 43 plays (59%) and blocking tight end Eric Tomlinson received 11.
Compounding the concern, right tackle Patrick Mekari was forced to exit the contest after 20 snaps due to a reported high ankle sprain. Tyre Phillips replaced Mekari and logged 53 snaps. Kevin Zeitler retired after 64 plays. With the game decided, Trystan Colon and recent acquisition David Sharpe saw 15 and nine snaps, respectively. Fortunately, center Bradley Bozeman returned from a Week 6 injury to provide 61 strong snaps.
Baltimore now limps into their bye week with a 5-2 record. The ELO model gives the Ravens an 80% chance of making the playoffs, 37% chance of winning the AFC North and 5% chance to win the Super Bowl.