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Logan Wilson finding his way in Bengals defense

The rookie linebacker played a big role in helping the Bengals defense contain Lamar Jackson.

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

Stats don’t always tell the story.

According to the official statistics, Logan Wilson finished Sunday’s loss to the Baltimore Ravens with one tackle, one pass defensed and a quarterback hit. Oh, and one interception.

But his impact on the field was much more than that.

In the first quarter, Baltimore tight end Mark Andrews was all but unstoppable.

After an initial incompletion, Andrews notched receptions for nine yards (first down), 14 yards (1st down), five yards (touchdown) and 14 yards (first down). By the end of the first quarter, Andrews had been targeted five times and had tallied four catches for 42 yards and a touchdown. Three of his receptions had resulted in first downs.

After that hot start, Andrews was limited to two receptions on four targets for 14 yards (one first down). Wilson, battery mate Akeem Davis-Gaither, Darius Phillips and Jessie Bates, III teamed up to help cool Andrews down.

“He’s Lamar’s go-to target,” Wilson said after the game. “I think everyone knows that, especially in the red zone. So, we needed to adjust to that, knowing where he’s going to be, Lamar is going to be looking for him. Like I said, I think we adjusted to that in the second half.”

Wilson, who missed last week’s win over Jacksonville with a concussion, also continued his knack for being in the right place at the right time. With just over a minute left before halftime and the Ravens threatening, Wilson corralled yet another tipped ball for his second interception of the season.

“We just had a blitz dialed up there,” Wilson said, “and based on what the offense gave us, I could read it and drop back out of it. I just so happened to drop back out, and that’s where Lamar [Jackson] ended up throwing it. But I’ll trade those interceptions for wins anytime. I don’t care, I just want to win.”

But don’t blame this loss on the defense.

Ravens’ quarterback Lamar Jackson, who had absolutely destroyed the Bengals on the ground through the last three games, was held to just three yards rushing on two carries, and completed only 19 of 37 passes for 180 yards, two touchdowns and the one interception.

One of Wilson’s jobs was to keep an eye on the Ravens’ quarterback and try to limit Jackson’s opportunities to make the big play.

“There are some plays, I was spying him,” Wilson said. “It’s kind of surreal, to be honest, to be in that position that you’re about to tackle Lamar Jackson, because you see him on Sundays all the time, especially the last couple of years, where he’s really stepped up his game. So, he’s a force to be reckoned with. Obviously, he’s very agile. I think he’s a little bummed up with his knee. He’s definitely very shifty, and he can get away from pretty much anyone. It was definitely a tough job.”

Baltimore tallied 161 yards rushing, but 42 of those came on an end around by rookie wide receiver Devin Duvernay less than three minutes into the contest.

“We had a great week at practice, as you guys know,” Wilson said. “So, I think there’s something that we could’ve always done better throughout this game. But for the most part, I think we executed our gameplan as well as we could’ve. There are some plays we’d like to have back. Lamar [Jackson] keeps a lot of plays alive with his feet. And sometimes, that’s tough; that’s why we have to cage him [and] keep him inside of the pocket. But then again, there’s a reason why he’s the former MVP.”