The Baltimore Ravens take care of the Cincinnati Bengals at home under the lights, 34-20. The Ravens will move to 8-3 on the season while the Bengals, who also lost quarterback Joe Burrow due to a wrist injury, to 5-5.
MVP: Lamar Jackson
Excellent performance by the Ravens’ signal caller, who was dealing with injury in this game. He finished going 16-for-26 for 264 yards and two touchdowns, earning a 121.3 quarterback rating. The stats weren’t gaudy but his elusiveness, poise and accuracy cut up the Bengals defense and extended drives that resulted in touchdowns.
Odell Beckham Jr. — A breakout night for OBJ who looked to only gain steam in the second half of the season. He officially eclipsed 100 yards and did so on only four receptions.
Nelson Agholor — Quite possibly the most bizarre touchdown scored in 2023 as it deflected off linebacker Germaine Pratt’s hands and into the arms of Agholor.
Rashod Bateman — It’s been a long time coming for Bateman but he nabbed his first touchdown of the 2023 season on a great play to get open with a scrambling Jackson.
Kyle Hamilton — I don’t think Pro Bowl is the right way to address Hamilton. I’m arguing for All-Pro as he’s a top safety in the NFL.
Marcus Williams — One-armed or not, the free safety made two big pass breakups, including one to keep the Bengals from advancing any further and settling for a field goal on the first drive. It appears he’s progressing and had a better night tonight.
Tavius Robinson — First career sack for the rook in primetime on quarterback Joe Burrow? What a time to make a statement and get some positive buzz. This pass rush is hitting on all cylinders when Robinson, who is down on the depth chart due to a numbers crunch, is getting sacks.
Jadeveon Clowney — The vet is now up to 6.5 sacks on the season. What a brilliant addition by General Manager Eric DeCosta and an awesome season thus far for a guy who just wanted to make an impact.
Ronald Darby — It’s hard to argue any other cornerback is worthy of being the No. 3 guy, or No. 2 with Marlon Humphrey out, than Darby. He was consistently strong against his man in coverage and notched three passes defensed, including a play against Ja’Marr Chase where he funneled him to the boundary on the deep shot and kept Chase out of bounds on the deep ball reception.
Odafe Oweh — Four sacks in five games since returning from injury and truly showing his first-round pedigree. The addition of outside linebackers coach Chuck Smith has been clearly demonstrated by sacks coming from all over the roster, but Oweh is a specific case of improvement.
Keaton Mitchell — Another day, another burst of speed that shows he’s something special. Though he finished with only 33 yards on eight carries, he just needs one play to get loose. I kind of liken him to former Tennessee Titans running back Chris “CJ2K” Johnson. He just has so much speed, acceleration and agility to bust pursuit angles from defensive backs.
Special teams — Finally, a field goal kicker for the opposing team missed. Now, they’re 24/25 on the season, going 6/7 from 50+.
Justin Madubuike — Tonight was ‘Beeks’ eighth straight game with at least a half sack or more and sixth straight game with at least one sack or more. He’s now up to 9.5 sacks on the season. The last two players to reach 9.5 sacks on the season are Justin Houston in 2022 and Matthew Judon in 2019. The last Raven to produce double-digit sacks was outside linebacker Terrell Suggs in 2017.
Patrick Queen — He exited the field frustrated after allowing a screen pass to beat him. He was targeted a few times in pass coverage and wasn’t able to make the play. He spoke on how he was frustrated for not having his teammates back. The defense did their job and kept the Bengals from ever getting back into this, but Queen didn’t appear satisfied. Maybe it’s the high standard I hold Queen to, or feeding of his energy he emits that he holds himself to. But that’s why I have Queen here.
Zay Flowers — Nothing he did wrong. He was just simply robbed of a sick 68-yard screen pass touchdown because of poor officiating. He also set a new franchise record for single-season receptions for a Ravens rookie at 51. He’s special. The Ravens really have a blossoming of young talent show out in this game.
Broderick Washington — Washington’s status wasn’t asked about in the postgame, so it’s unclear if maybe he suffered injury to keep him inactive for tonight’s game. And if he wasn’t injured, he was healthy scratched, which is an unfortunate situation for a guy who signed a three-year deal back in August with $10 million guaranteed. Washington has been one of the few guys to not get in on the sack-fest in Baltimore this season.
Injuries — Mark Andrews is likely out for the season. Lamar Jackson and Odell Beckham Jr. were dealing with injuries. The Bengals saw two players ruled out in tonight’s game, including quarterback Joe Burrow. This was a brutal game to have the either team play on a short week.
Officiating — Poor calls going both ways. Hate that it comes in a national game in front of all of America. Gotta have the refs involved though, right?