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Ravens spoil Ryan Finley’s debut, Bengals lose 49-13

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An ugly home loss for the Bengals.

NFL: Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

After the having the week off to rest up and prepare for the Ravens, the Bengals wasted no time in taking a furious beating. The Ravens took the lead after five snaps from scrimmage, and didn’t take their foot off the gas until the fourth quarter, winning the game 49-13.

The Ravens scored on their first seven drives, and the Bengals only stopped them when John Harbaugh pulled Lamar Jackson and put in backup quarterback Robert Griffin.

On the bright side, the Bengals running game finally got some life, with Joe Mixon eclipsing the century mark for the first time this season. He rushed for an insane 30 carries, gathering 114 yards. But that was about the only thing for the Bengals that went right.

Ryan Finley made his season debut at quarterback, and did pretty well in the first half. But the problems that plagued Andy Dalton, like offensive line pressure and receivers’ drops, also got to Finley. Even though six of the Bengals’ nine drives ended in Ravens’ territory, turnovers and failed fourth down conversions kept the Bengals to only 13 points.

By the end of the day, Finley was 16 for 130 with 164 yards, one touchdown, and one interception.

The Ravens got the ball first and Lamar Jackson went deep on the first play of the game, connecting with Marquise Brown for 49 yards. It only took five plays to score as Jackson threw a one-yard pass to Mark Andrews for the score. Justin Tucker’s extra point was good and the Ravens were already up 7-0 with 12:18 left in the opening quarter.

Jackson and the Ravens quickly got the ball back, and while they didn’t throw the ball deep this time, they picked up five yards per carry on their first seven rushing attempts. Jackson only threw the ball twice, but on his second throw he found Nick Boyle. A missed tackle on Jessie Bates allowed the Ravens to gain 35 yards on the play, and they were suddenly on the one-yard line. Mark Ingram pushed the pile to get into the end zone, and after the extra point, the Ravens took a 14-0 lead with 3:54 to go in the quarter.

Ryan Finley made his first career start at quarterback, and in his first series went three-and-out. The next drive was much better for the rookie quarterback, and he completed his next two passing attempts for 16 yards, and scrambled for another 13 yards. A delay of game pushed the offense back, so a rookie mistake forced them to settle for a 42-yard field goal. After a 42-yard drive, the Bengals were now down 14-3 with 13:34 left in the second quarter.

The Ravens imposed their will on the Bengals and drove down the field on both the legs and the arm of Jackson. He capped off the drive with a 17-yard touchdown reception to Andrews, the teams’ leading receiver. Preston Brown was in coverage, even though he didn’t start, and left Andrews wide open in the middle of the end zone. With the extra point, the Ravens were up 21-3 with 9:28 left until halftime.

Finley led the Bengals back out, and Joe Mixon got plenty of touches. After running for one yard in a fourth-and-one, Mixon took a short receptions 23 yards. When the Bengals got in striking range, Finley underthrew a pass to Alex Erickson, and it was picked off by Marcus Peters and returned for a touchdown. Finley stared down Erickson the whole way, and it was an easy 89-yard return for Peters. Finely would go back out down 28-3 with 3:42 remaining in the half.

The Bengals ran the ball really well on the next drive, running for 8 yards per carry despite being crunched for time inside the two-minute warning. Inside the red zone, Finley looked for his big targets and threw his first NFL touchdown to Tyler Eifert. The six-yard touchdown narrowed the deficit to 28-10, with only 26 seconds before halftime.

The Bengals’ defense was totally helpless to do anything to stop the Ravens. The Ravens only faced three third downs, and converted two of them. The only time they didn’t convert on third down, they converted on the ensuing fourth down.

Jackson was 11 for 12 with 180 yards through the air, with 18 yards on the ground. Andrews caught five of his passes for 51 yards and two touchdowns, as the three tight ends for the Ravens contributed for nine of the 11 completions, 131 receiving yards, and both passing touchdowns.

Ryan Finley’s first half was decent, going eight for 14 for 84 yards and a touchdown. The only blemish on his record was the pick-six to Peters, but he was greatly aided by the running game. The Bengals rushed for 108 in the first half on 18 carries, grinding out 5.7 yards a carry.

Finely got back on the field and moved the ball down to the edge of Bullock’s field goal range. But when the Bengals went for it on fourth down, Giovani Bernard fumbled the ball, which was recovered by the Ravens. Though the play had little chance of converting anyways, the Bengals walked away empty handed after desperately needing a score to get back into this game.

Lamar Jackson showed off his wheels on the next drive, and burst open for a 47-yard run for a touchdown. He made Bates and Nick Vigil miss on the play as he put the Ravens up 35-10, and with the extra point the Ravens had a commanding lead with 8:08 left in the third quarter.

The Bengals were left trying to figure out how in the world they could stop Lamar Jackson as he threw the ball down the field and scored yet another touchdown. Jackson actually threw an incompletion on the drive, but found his rhythm again and unloaded a 20-yard touchdown pass to Marquise Brown to give the Bengals’ 42-10 hole to try and climb out of with 5:13 left in the third quarter.

The Ravens weren’t done scoring, but it was their defense that got them back into the end zone. Patrick Ricard strip sacked Finley, which was the first sack of the day for either team, and the loose ball was picked up and taken to the house by Tyus Bowser. With 2:14, the Ravens were up by an insurmountable 49-10. This was the fifth defensive touchdown by the Ravens on the year, which is the most in the NFL.

The Bengals turned the ball over on downs at Ravens’ 20-yard line, and Robert Griffin III came in to lead the Ravens’ offense. Griffin went three for four with 20 yards, and ended the drive on an interception to Bates. The Bengals had their first interception since Week 3, and the Ravens finally ended a drive without scoring a touchdown.

The Bengals took advantage of the field position and tried to run the ball down the field. Mixon got the ball into field goal range, but pressure on Finley forced the Bengals to settle for a field goal from 39 yards out. Bullock’s kick was good, but it did next to no good as the Bengals were still down 49-13 with 2:29 left in the game.

That was the final score, as the Bengals dropped their ninth game of the year, losing to the Ravens 49-13.