Top-Five Bengals Defensive Plays Against The Baltimore Ravens

Today Cincy Jungle will be offering a new weekly piece, listing the top five defensive plays during the previous game, sponsored by Gillette - ProGlide. The defensive plays we're selecting range anywhere from a turnover, a third down stop to something as small as a defensive play that results into something positive for the Bengals later during the opposing offense's possession. If you have defensive plays you want to offer, you're always welcome to bring them up in the comments. Otherwise, let's get to it.

#5. Adam Jones Tackle By The Hair (2nd, 1:50)

In truth Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith converted a third and ten on a 28-yard reception with 1:50 remaining in the first half, making one think, "did we really not have that many defensive plays that a 28-yard gain is being featured as one of the top defensive plays?" Well son, yes. Yes we are. And it's not for Jones' last-ditch effort to violently tug on Smith's dreadlocks to bring him down, that even forced a conference with officials asking if it was a horse-collar or the instinctively brilliant effort by Jones to use anything that's legally necessary to initiate the tackle and prevent the touchdown.

Because that's what he did -- prevent the touchdown. But that surely doesn't answer your question. How can we include a 28-yard reception as one of the team's top five defensive plays? Well, the prevented touchdown enables this...

#4. Nate Clements Interception (2nd, 1:32)

The Ravens are driving. Following Smith's 28-yard reception (see above) and an incomplete pass down the right sidelines that Flacco was forced to get rid of after the inspiration of Real Steel (aka, Carlos Dunlap) came off the edge unblocked, the Ravens quarterback takes the shotgun snap and surveys the field as Ed Dickson's quick out unfolds.

Bengals cornerback Nate Clements' assignment is the Ravens tight end, easily following him step-for-step while cutting underneath Dickson's route as he broke to the sidelines. It's rather confusing what Flacco saw that prompted him to throw the football.

Regardless the interception shuts down Baltimore's possession, giving the Bengals an opportunity to score points as the first half concluded.

#3. Geno Atkins quarterback sack (3rd Q, 11:26)

Baltimore began the second half, electing to receive after deferring the game's opening kickoff. On first and ten from the Ravens 35-yard line, Ray Rice exploded up the middle for a 59-yard gain that put the Ravens on Cincinnati's six-yard line. Allowing a touchdown would give the Ravens a 14-point advantage. After successive Ray Rice runs that gained four yards, the Ravens setup with a third and goal from the Bengals two-yard line.

Flacco fakes the handoff to Rice, surveys his options behind a wall with good pass protection. Alarms sounding or the probability that he didn't believe a receiver would open up soon enough, Flacco takes off. Geno Atkins, after Michael Oher pushed him out to keep Flacco's pocket stabilized, bolts upfield and pulls the quarterback down from behind (in goalline situations Atkins lines up outside the right offensive tackle).

The sack forced the Ravens to kick a field goal, taking a 17-7 lead (rather than a 14-point advantage).

#2. Frostee Rucker Stop On Third And Two (4th Q, 9:48)

The Bengals were making a fierce comeback, initiated by Andre Caldwell's 49-yard touchdown only minutes ago. The Ravens, at this point completely satisfied with settling into "kill the clock mode", elected to convert a third and two with a handoff to Ray Rice out of shotgun, who happens to be Baltimore's best offensive weapon.

Frostee Rucker, lined up at right defensive end, is left alone by the Ravens offensive line. Rather than holding station, Rucker sprints down the line of scrimmage and lowers his right shoulder into the running back for a no-gain. The Bengals would reduce their deficit on their ensuing possession to seven points following a 27-yard Mike Nugent field goal.

#1. Pat Sims And Manny Lawson Stop On Third And One (4th Q, 2:55)

With 2:55 remaining in the game, the Ravens line up on third and one from their own 46-yard line with a seven-point lead. A first down likely wipes out Cincinnati's remaining timeouts, giving Baltimore's punter Sam Koch a greater probability to pin the Bengals offense close to their own endzone. At the same time if the Ravens fail to convert, the Bengals have over two minutes remaining and multiple timeouts to put themselves into position to score the game-tying touchdown.

Pat Sims, lined up over right guard Ben Grubbs, is initially pushed out opening a lane for running back Ray Rice.

Manny Lawson, lined up outside on the left, forces his way with the initial hit on Rice behind the line of scrimmage where Sims buries the running back for a no-gain. After Cincinnati took their first time out to conserve time, Baltimore is forced to punt giving the Bengals offense an opportunity to drive 86 yards with 2:27 remaining in the game.

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