Zac Taylor said it best following the Bengals’ 15-10 road triumph over the Broncos.
“It wasn’t sexy, but man, it’s what we needed.”
In what felt like a playoff game, the Bengals did everything required to survive and advance to next week’s pseudo-AFC North Championship vs. the Ravens.
The 10 points allowed to Denver was tied for the fewest the Bengals’ defense has allowed this season, and they needed every bit of that effort in a game that came down to the final drive.
Despite the Broncos running 20 more plays than the Bengals (71-51), the home team could only muster up 292 yards and 10 points.
For the Bengals, Tyler Boyd led the way with five grabs for 98 yards and the game-winning touchdown in the fourth quarter when Cincinnati was trailing 10-9.
Up next, Cincinnati is back home as the Ravens come to the Queen City in a game that likely decides who wins the AFC North and gets a home playoff game.
The Bengals won the first matchup 41-17 in Baltimore, a game in which NFL MVP Lamar Jackson played in.
Now, Jackson is uncertain to play in Week 16 due to a bone bruise in his ankle. That caused him to miss the team’s Week 15 loss to the Green Bay Packers, the first game he’s ever missed due to injury (he’s previously missed games due to illness).
So, it comes as no surprise the Bengals opened as a field-goal favorite over the Ravens, according to DraftKings Sportsbook (the line has already dropped to 2.5 as of this story posting).
With or without Jackson, the Bengals were likely to be favored, so it’s hard to say if the oddsmakers think the Ravens QB will or will not play in this game. After all, backup Tyler Huntley has played well in Jackson’s absence, so this game will be a battle no matter who’s playing QB for Baltimore.