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5 winners and 6 losers from Bengals’ 24-21 loss at Baltimore

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Lamar Jackson ran all over the Bengals in his first career start, while the Bengals offense continued to stall more times than not.

NFL: Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

No magic in Baltimore this time.

The Bengals defense allowed 265 yards rushing to the Ravens in Lamar Jackson’s first career start. There were multiple chances for the Bengals offense to tie and win the game in the fourth quarter, but their inconsistent offense was snuffed out by the smothering Ravens defense. The Bengals are now at 5-5 on the season, and still have a multitude of issues to work out.

Here are our winners and losers from Cincinnati’s 24-21 defeat to the Ravens.

Winners:

Shawn Williams: Cincinnati’s offense punted five out of their six drives in the first half, so Williams took it upon himself to give the offense great field position to start the third quarter. His fourth interception (and second against Baltimore) this season set up the Bengals at the Ravens’ 32-yard line, and they ended up with their second touchdown of the day just four plays later. Williams was knocked out for a few plays in the third quarter, but returned to finish the game with 11 tackles.

Tyler Boyd: Boyd surprisingly didn’t end up with a score in a game against the Ravens, but he still led the team in receiving and had two crucial third down conversions late in the fourth quarter. The Bengals offense was stagnant for most of the day, but Boyd at least got a couple of plays for the highlight reel.

Brandon Wilson: On special teams, Wilson came to play. Wilson ended up with four impressive tackles on the punt and kickoff team and looked like the special teamer the Bengals traded up for last year. This game also featured a special teams penalty from captain Clayton Fejedelem, so it was nice to see Wilson step up.

Matt Lengel: Sure, why not? You get your second career touchdown, you get to be acknowledged. Lengel is the team’s No. 2 tight end for the remainder of the season after Tyler Kroft was placed on injured reserve last week, so it was good to see him find the end zone for the first time since 2016.

John Ross: Ross only caught two passes on the day, but one of them ended up being the best highlight for the Bengals’ offense.

The best for Ross is that he finished the game without leaving it due to an injury. Ross now has scored on 40% of his career catches.

Losers:

Cordy Glenn: The Bengals left tackle got worked all game long against Terrell Suggs and company. In the Bengals’ final drive, Suggs drove back Glenn on third-and-three and forced Dalton to throw the ball away. On the next play, Dalton targeted Cody Core for some reason and the ball, of course, hit the dirt. Glenn’s play had stabilized after going through a rough patch early on, but this game was a step back for him.

Vontaze Burfict: What are reasonable expectations for Burfict now? If he isn’t hurt, he’s doing more bad than good on the field. This game featured more missed tackles (and flops) than positive stops from Burfict, which was reminiscent of how he played against the Chiefs back in Week 7. Jordan Evans had to come in for him throughout the game, and he also continued to not play well.

Joe Mixon: To be fair, Mixon had nowhere to run all game, as the offensive line was driven back on nearly every snap where Andy Dalton handed the ball off to his running backs. Billy Price and Alex Redmond had trouble all game specifically in this regard. Still, 14 yards on 12 carries is not good—and he wasn’t even on the field for the last play of the game. Thankfully he compensated in the passing game with 38 yards on three receptions, but a lot of the offense’s troubles should be put on offensive coordinator Bill Lazor, including his inability to get Mixon going.

Jordan Willis: Besides a missed sack on Lamar Jackson early in the game, Willis was a complete non-factor as a run defender. Getting ran over on Gus Edwards’ touchdown run was about the only time we saw him a part of any play. He has not stepped up with the increase in snaps he’s been given.

Randy Bullock: The Bengals cannot trust Bullock’s leg beyond 50 yards, but they should’ve already known this. Bullock’s 51-yard miss late in the game kept the score at 24-21 and the Bengals were unable to give him a chance on their final drive.

Cody Core: This seems unfair, but when you’re on the field, you got to make the play. Core has shown time and time again that he cannot be trusted as a receiver, and his drop on fourth-and-three on the last play for the Bengals is just the latest example of that. He shouldn’t have been out there, and the ball should have never gone his way.

But it did, and per usual, the result was bad.