The Baltimore Ravens rested starters against the Cincinnati Bengals with potential home field advantage in the Wild Card round on the line. But they played their defense. And their defense went all out.
Why? Arguably to knock out a few of the Cincinnati’s stars to give Baltimore a chance in the postseason. Or maybe they just wanted to set a tone and get an advantage that way.
On the one hand, the dirty plays weren’t stupid or obvious enough to get called. That is why Ravens head coach John Harbaugh was still in position to pretend his team played cleanly.
Ravens coach John Harbaugh on Cincinnati's umbrage with BAL's tactics yesterday: "I studied the game really closely, obviously. Anybody can, and it’s clear our players played a clean game, as they always do. Millions of fans watched the game as well, and they saw the same thing."— Ben Baby (@Ben_Baby) January 9, 2023
But on the other hand, there were a lot of late shoves, bumps, unnecessary shots (to the chest, thankfully), grabbing of helmets, and quick facemasks.
We’re guessing that these are some of the plays in which the #Bengals are taking umbrage. We’ll talk about it on the #podcast tonight @ 630 et to kick off our #wildcardweekend coverage! pic.twitter.com/t4CIBQQrfP— Orange&Black Insider (@BengalsOBI) January 9, 2023
The main culprit of Roquan Smith, who seemed to have hoped to injury Bengals star Ja’Marr Chase. Smith was so busy being... less than a perfect gentleman, let’s say... that he was even accidentally celebrating an injury to his own teammate.
The play where Tyler Boyd had to be evaluated for a concussion.— Goodberry (@JoeGoodberry) January 10, 2023
Roquan Smith sees he's not getting up, takes the ball, nods his head in approval and throws the ball at Ja'Marr Chase as trainers run onto the field. pic.twitter.com/J1TiLHfr6g
Now, the Bengals, contrary to popular opinion, are a physical team that has throttled the best offenses in the league time after time. And the o-line, headed by Ted Karras, knows how to crack skulls itself.
So how will the rematch play out? We discuss in our preview below:
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Finally, let’s hear from you:
Were the Ravens dirty in Week 18?
This poll is closed
Very much so
Only a little bit
No, that’s just AFC North football