The Cincinnati Bengals dominated the AFC North rival Baltimore Ravens for a second time this season Sunday with a 41-21 win to complete a season sweep of the Ravens and take over sole possession of first place in the division.
Up 20 late in the game Sunday, the Bengals continued to throw the ball with starting quarterback Joe Burrow who finished the day with a career-high 525 passing yards that set off some Ravens fans, but Cincinnati was not at all sorry for punching the rival Ravens while they were down.
“This is the NFL. This isn’t peewee, this isn’t high school where you go out and run up the score,” Burrow told ProFootballTalk after the game. “You play until the final whistle. I don’t care what the score is. We’ve been in spots where teams go out and do that to us. They did it to us last year. No sympathy from me.”
Burrow isn’t wrong about last year. Baltimore dominated the Bengals in both of their matchups, beating Cincy 27-3 and 38-3. The Ravens also swept the Bengals during the 2019 season and had not been swept by Cincinnati since the 2017 season.
“Why not? Over these past few years people been doing that to us,” running back Joe Mixon added. “It’s a great feeling that roles are reversed.”
With the dominant win and both the Ravens and Steelers swept aside, the Bengals can clinch the AFC North with a home win over the Kansas City Chiefs next Sunday, but Kansas City will come in town riding an eight-game winning streak and with a chance to clinch home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs.
If the Bengals lose, they would still clinch the AFC North next week if the Steelers lose to the Browns and the Ravens lose to the Rams. If none of this happens, they’d still win the division with a win over the Browns in Week 18 regardless of what Baltimore and Pittsburgh do in Week 17.
Thus, finishing off a Ravens team that has pulled off several comebacks this season and taking complete control of the AFC North by keeping the ball moving late is not at all anything to be sorry about.