The Baltimore Ravens finally came out on the right side of a close game at M&T Bank Stadium, defeating the Cincinnati Bengals in dramatic fashion by a score of 19-17. The primetime, divisional matchup was a defensive-centric battle for most of the night, but the Ravens got just enough offense late to emerge victorious.
Let’s run through some of the top performers from Sunday night’s victory, and be sure to chime in on who you think deserves the game ball for Week 5.
Mark Andrews is always the focal point for opposing defenses to key in on. That’s even more true when the Ravens are down their No. 1 wide receiver, as they were tonight without Rashod Bateman. After a two-catch performance against the Bills last week, Andrews bounced back to his usual ways and the Ravens needed every bit of it.
The All-Pro tight end had only two catches again at the first half but came alive in the latter portion of the game. On the Ravens’ 15-play, 90-yard scoring drive that resulted in a field goal, Andrews had three first-down conversions. He caught completions of 20, 19 and 10 yards. Then, on the final drive of the game, Andrews got the ball rolling with two quick catches for 15 combined yards. Those 15 yards were crucial in helping the Ravens get into field goal position for Justin Tucker to kick the game-winner.
This was far from Lamar Jackson’s best performance, but his connection with Andrews was in full-form on the two biggest drives of the game. Andrews finished with eight receptions on 10 targets for 89 yards and an 11-yard touchdown in the first quarter.
Lamar Jackson drops this dime to Mark Andrews as he’s being hit by Hendrickson!— Full-Time Dame (@DP_NFL) October 10, 2022
Up until pre-game warmups, all signs were pointing to Marcus Peters being inactive. He suffered a quad injury earlier in the week, did not practice on Friday and the Ravens activated veteran cornerback Daryl Worley off the practice squad. Peters ultimately suited up and the Ravens are fortunate he did.
Peters made two key tackles to limit big gains in the first quarter. He stuffed Ja’Marr Chase at the line of scrimmage on a screen pass on the second play of the game. Then, he forced Hayden Hurst well short of the marker on third down two drives later. Peters’ biggest play was sacking Tyler Boyd for a 12-yard loss in the red zone, where Boyd received an end-around on a trick play and was set to make a pass. Two plays later, the Bengals were stopped on 4th-&-2 just outside the end zone and turned the ball over on downs.
Peters was flagged for defensive pass interference on that same drive, which gifted the Bengals 18 yards. However, that and a missed tackle in coverage against Michael Thomas were really the only blemishes from his performance.
The veteran cornerback was a tone-setter as usual and aggressive in coverage against Chase, who he matched up with a number of times.
Marcus Peters denies any chance of a “Cincy Special” pic.twitter.com/1LQAIeq7IK— Baltimore Beatdown (@BmoreBeatdown) October 10, 2022
There’s always a game or two every year where the Ravens have to lean on Justin Tucker to earn a victory. Tonight was one of them and as per usual, the veteran kicker delivered.
Tucker capped off the Ravens’ opening 10-play drive with a 37-yard field goal to give them an early lead. Then, four plays after Patrick Queen intercepted Joe Burrow around midfield, Tucker nailed a 58-yard attempt that would have been good from 61 or more. The Ravens gained just six yards on three plays after Queen’s turnover, but Tucker bailed out a potential missed opportunity and ensured points off a takeaway would be had.
That 58-yarder broke the 10-10 tie. Then he capped off a long 15-play drive that lasted over eight minutes with a 25-yarder to put the Ravens up 16-10. John Harbaugh opted to let Tucker kick on fourth-and-short near the end zone, the exact opposite of what transpired last week.
Trailing by one point with just under two minutes remaining, Jackson and company quickly drove 50 yards up the field in seven plays. The offense was able to milk the clock and set up Tucker for a 43-yard attempt as time expired, which was right on-line. On a night where the Ravens scored only one touchdown and missed a number of opportunities, the greatest kicker of all time came up huge.
"JUSTIN TUCKER WINS IT FOR BALTIMORE!"— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) October 10, 2022
Back in action Sunday at 1 pm on CBS! pic.twitter.com/Y7O5qHGo6A
Honorable mention —
Devin Duvernay: Duvernay stepped up in the absence of Bateman with five catches for 54 yards, as well as 24 yards on three rushing attempts. He was quiet in the second half but would have had a huge stat line if Jackson had not overthrown him on a deep pass early in the third quarter.
Jason Pierre-Paul: “JPP” made a big impact in his second game as a Raven. He had a sack, QB hit, tackle for loss and two pass deflections at the line of scrimmage on back-to-back plays in the second quarter.
Patrick Queen: Queen led the defense in total tackles with seven and made a game-changing interception in the third quarter.
Who gets your vote for game ball recipient from the Week 5 victory?
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