Last season, the Cincinnati Bengals wide receivers bullied the Baltimore Ravens secondary. Between their top three, Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, Tyler Boyd, the trio combined for 667 yards and four touchdowns on 37 receptions. According to Ravens cornerback Marlon Humphrey, a part of it is due to all three of the Bengals wideouts being ‘No. 1’ kind of guys.
“Man, I could write a book about [why their such a challenge to defend]; it’s tough,” Humphrey said. “They all have wide receiver ‘one’ caliber guys. I remember three years ago, going into the week it was like, ‘If you can stop Tyler Boyd, you can be OK.’”
Humphrey went more in depth on the specific differences each player poses.
“ I think Boyd is the guy they want to get the ball to on third down a lot, Chase is their kind of deep-threat speed, really strong YAC [yards after catch] guy. Higgins is just, he’s kind of a mixture of kind of both, I think. All big body guys, so they all just bring so much to the table, and really can kind of do it all. It just depends on how they want to use them, and it’s a really tough matchup. Everyone will really have to be on point.”
The Ravens will have their hands full this Sunday night when they welcome the Bengals back to M&T Bank Stadium for a primetime affair. They’re currently the last-ranked pass defense, and Humphrey made mention of it multiple times during his availability.
“To look up [at the televisions in the cafeteria] and be eating lunch and see 32nd [ranked pass defense], you’re just like … It’s great to see, because I like to stay humble, but we’re still trying to gel together, and we really want to get that 32nd down.”
Earlier on Wednesday, the Bengals paid a compliment to the Ravens cornerbacks, calling Humphrey and Marcus Peters the best duo in the league. Humphrey wasn’t having it.
“It doesn’t [mean anything], because we’re still 32nd in passing [defense] in the league, so it’s like we can’t be too good of a duo with those numbers, but I do love playing with Marcus Peters,” Humphrey said. “He is by far my favorite player, just on the field he gives me so much insight during the game.”