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Ravens vs Bengals final: Heartbreak in Cincinnati

Game recap of the Ravens-Bengals wildcard round

AFC Wild Card Playoffs - Baltimore Ravens v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

The physical bout between the Baltimore Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals delivered to expectation. The Ravens defense stood up the Bengals and held them to 17 points, which many believed would be the recipe to defeat Cincinnati. However, a defensive touchdown by the Bengals proved to be too much as the Bengals advance with a 24-17 final score.

First Quarter

Bengals opened up with the football as the Ravens won the coin toss and deferred. On their first drive, the Bengals managed to move the chains on two third-downs before being stopped on a 3rd & 10 with pressure from Tyus Bowser, forcing an Evan McPherson field goal. Some of the tension began to flare as linebacker Patrick Queen pushed Joe Burrow out of bounds as he neared the sideline.

Ravens first drive began with Tyler Huntley getting the start. After a couple decent runs, Huntley misreads the defense, doesn’t see the defender sitting in the zone and drops one in the bucket for a Bengals takeaway.

The Bengals took over and proceeded to march down the field by leaning on their third-down plays. Specifically, on 3rd & 10 Ja’Marr Chase hit the stop route on cornerback Marcus Peters, got the 10 yards and flexed after standing up in front of Peters. A play later, Peters was flagged for a taunting call after some extra-curriculars following his tackle on Joe Mixon. The quarter ended with the Bengals in the red zone and outgaining the Ravens offense 107-25 yards.

Bengals: 3 | Ravens: 0

Second Quarter

On the first play of the quarter, Burrow found Chase splitting Patrick Queen and Kyle Hamilton for a 12-yard touchdown. But a missed extra point only notched the Bengals six points on the drive.

Bengals: 9 | Ravens: 0

On the ensuing drive J.K. and Gus Edwards got rolling with some running tandems. On 3rd & 1, Roman calls a QB option with... tight end Mark Andrews that goes nowhere. On 4th & 1, Huntley keeps it and gained the first by a hair. The Ravens were initially stopped in the red zone but a facemask penalty on extended the drive. Three plays later, Huntley checks it to Dobbins who goes full extension for a red zone touchdown.

Bengals: 9 | Ravens: 7

The Bengals began their second-quarter drive with a big 3rd & 7 completion. Afterward, Oweh notched a second down sack to force a 3rd & 16, where Burrow checked down to tight end Hayden Hurst, who was blasted by Ravens rookie safety Kyle Hamilton who forced the fumble and recovered it to get the ball back for the offense with just enough time remaining in the first half.

Chaos ensued on the Ravens drive with rookie center Tyler Linderbaum blasting a snap above Huntley’s head. By a miracle, Snoop sends it downfield for a 19-yard completion to Oliver. It was the largest completion for the Ravens at the time.

However, the magic ended in the red zone where the Ravens were forced to settle for a 22-yard field goal with seven seconds remaining in the half. The Bengals, upon receiving the kickoff, kneeled it out.

HALFTIME — Ravens: 10 | Bengals: 9

Ravens offense doesn’t get much after nearing midfield and Stout is the first punter to see the field.

The Bengals first drive continued on account of Burrow slipping through a surefire Roquan Smith tackle. Rather than a sack on 3rd & inches, he evaded Smith and got plus yardage. It didn’t end there, either, as Burrow and the Bengals offense continued to shine on third down and drove into the red zone, with a completion to Hurst getting the Bengals down to the one yard line. A play later, Burrow sneaks it in for six. Bengals go for two and it’s unsuccessful. However, DPI is called on Peters and the second chance is all the Bengals needed to as Burrow scrambled and found Higgins streaking across the end zone.

Bengals: 17 | Ravens: 10

Ravens begin to get going with some pass plays to their tailbacks as Dobbins and Edwards both churned out first downs. Then, after weeks of Huntley throwing short, Demarcus Robinson hits Eli Apple with the sluggo for the 41-yard touchdown.

Ravens: 17 | Bengals: 17

The Bengals were victim to the first three and out of the night, and sent the ball back to Huntley and the offense.

The quarter ended with Edwards muscling forward on a pair of runs.

Fourth Quarter

The Ravens marched downfield with a ferocity from Huntley, Edwards and Andrews. But on 3rd & goal from the 2-yard line, a quarterback sneak was called and Huntley was either told to leap over the top or made the decision to go over the top himself, didn’t cross the plane two yards away and the ball was punched out, recovered by Bengals defensive lineman Sam Hubbard for a 98-yard fumble recovery touchdown.

The touchdown by Hubbard proved to be the game-winner, as neither the Bengals nor Ravens could get anything going offensively. The Ravens had a final desperation drive with highly questionable play-calling and clock management. It ended with a 4th & 20 where Huntley’s pass nearly landed in the arms of wide receiver James Proche.

Final — Bengals: 24 | Ravens: 17