This was not Jackson’s best game. He missed multiple critical touchdown throws. This game isn’t even close if he hits wide receivers Devin Duvernay or Tylan Wallace. His interception was also a poor overthrow to wide receiver Demarcus Robinson, which jump-started the Bengals offense and brought them back to life. That said, Jackson was given a game-winning drive opportunity and he, along with tight end Mark Andrews and kicker Justin Tucker, delivered.
Running backs: B+
A solid game by the backs, as they churned out 13 carries for 73 yards. That’s a great 5.6 yards per carry, which is a stark difference from where they were to begin the year. Really, the run game has come on strong and Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman said, they were missing just a couple small things and they were close. It’s certainly looked that way since J.K. Dobbins returned.
Tight End: A
Another cool 89 yards and one touchdown from the best tight end in the NFL. Andrews came up clutch on the final drive and also made some excellent grabs throughout the game. Add in a pair of receptions from Isaiah Likely who the Ravens are looking to further incorporate in the passing game and you have an easy A for this unit.
Wide Receivers: A
The wide receiver group was excellent tonight, especially Duvernay. They were finding openings and they would have blown the game wide open had they been delivered a bit better balls from Jackson. This didn’t look like a game missing their No. 1 wide receiver Rashod Bateman.
Offensive Line: A-
Run Blocking: A
Pass Blocking: B+
The blocking was all-around impressive. They generated push up front and the run game was excellent. Offensive tackle Morgan Moses pulled well and Ben Powers put some guys on their butts. Ronnie Stanley rotated in and out and he looked sharp when on the field. They finished with 155 yards on the ground.
Pass protection also looked solid, with Jackson being sacked only once. They allowed multiple pressures but that’s going to happen in a grind-it-out AFC North battle. Keeping edge rusher Trey Hendrickson blanked in the sack stats was impressive, especially with the rotation of tackles.
Defensive Line: B-
Allowing 101 yards on the ground to one of the worst rushing offenses isn’t pretty. But, they didn’t get completely bowled over. They also held up strong in pass rushing and pass swatting. There’s some work there but they played well, especially early.
Inside Linebackers: B+
At times, they look downright impressive. Josh Bynes flew in and delivered a booming sack on Joe Burrow. Patrick Queen also notched the interception, something he’s dropped the past two weeks. But, they also got beat on multiple short throws and Samaje Perine hurt them in both the rushing and passing game. Overall, a takeaway and a sack were enough to uplift a topsy-turvy game.
Outside Linebackers: B+
Hello, Jason Pierre-Paul. With Justin Houston out again, Pierre-Paul came up big with back-to-back pass swats and a sack on Burrow. He looked solid on the edge there. Also, Odafe Oweh looked great. Had he not been held on so many damn plays I think he gets a sack there. But, his containment in the early run game and the plays he made looked solid and give ‘em credit.
Burrow came into Baltimore and finished with 190 passing yards. That is a far cry from what many were worried about. I think most were hoping the Ravens would keep him under 320 yards. In the end, Ja’Marr Chase finished with 50 yards and the Bengals leading receiver was tight end Hayden Hurst with 53 yards and a touchdown.
Losing Marcus Williams to a dislocated wrist is awful news. He had played every snap this season and was a takeaway machine. Safeties had a decent night, but some penalties were painful and Hurst did some damage at times.
Justin Tucker: A+
I mean, really. A 58-yarder and then to hit the gamewinning 43-yard kick? He’s the best to ever do it.
Jordan Stout: A
His first NFL gamewinning hold. Also, both punts were inside the 20-yard line. Nice work, rook.
Nick Moore: A
I mean, he snapped these successful kicks. Gotta mean they’re good, right?