Unfortunately, that wasn’t the outcome, as Cincinnati was dominated in a 34-20 loss.
Here’s how it all went down.
Baltimore started with the football and, on the first play, went right to Mark Andrews for a 14-yard gain and a first down. After a good run stop by D.J. Reader, a coverage breakdown led to a Zay Flowers reception for 33 yards. The Bengals forced a third and short but weren’t able to contain Lamar Jackson as he scrambled and picked up the first down. Baltimore would go on to score on a Gus Edwards touchdown run.
The Bengals took possession from their own 25 and picked up a first down on a couple of runs by Joe Burrow and Joe Mixon. After a reception by Tanner Hudson that resulted in a first down, the drive stalled as the crowd noise seemed to get to the Bengals offense. After a timeout, a Burrow pass intended for Tyler Boyd was batted down. Evan McPherson was able to hit a 50-yard field goal to at least get the Bengals on the board.
Baltimore’s next possession started with a deep shot from Jackson to Odell Beckham Jr., and fortunately, Jackson just missed him. Trey Hendrickson got a massive run stop, followed by a sack on third down to force a Baltimore punt and get the ball back to the Bengal offense.
The Bengals offense got back to work from their own 38-yard line as a Joe Mixon run was stuffed at the line of scrimmage. It didn’t get much better from there. The offense looked confused and burnt their second timeout of the game in the first quarter. A third-down sack led to another punt by Brad Robbins.
The Bengal defense was luckily able to force a three-and-out and force Baltimore to give the ball right back.
The Bengals were able to move the ball into field goal range, but McPherson wasn’t able to hit from 53 yards out.
After an injury scare, Jackson was back under center for Baltimore. The Bengals defense again held with pressure on third down, leading to Jackson throwing the ball away and a Baltimore punt.
The Bengal offense finally found life and worked their way downfield on the back of Mixon. Mixon ran well, caught passes out of the backfield, and was finally able to finish the drive off with a four-yard touchdown reception. Unfortunately, after that play, Burrow was in pain. He went to the blue tent before heading back to the locker room. The team reported he was questionable to return.
The Ravens came back swinging and went down the field to score on a pass from Jackson to Nelson Algholor.
Jake Browning started the next drive and took the Bengals down to midfield before a throw to Trenton Irwin on third down was reviewed and ruled incomplete.
Baltimore would go on to
be helped down drive down the field and score on a touchdown pass from Jackson to Rashod Bateman.
(Things get sad here, so forgive me if it isn’t in-depth.)
Burrow was ruled out coming out of halftime, and Browning actually looked very comfortable. The Bengals drove down into the red zone but couldn’t convert on third down. They were forced to settle for yet another McPherson field goal.
Cincinnati’s defense held Baltimore to another field goal, making the score 24-13.
The Bengal offense managed essentially nothing on the next drive, punting back to Baltimore. The Ravens would go on to convert another field goal.
Things went from bad to worse as Baltimore drove down the field for another touchdown, pushing the score to 34-13.
Without their leader, not only did the Bengals offense look flat, but the whole team seemed to be deflated coming out of halftime.
The Bengals did manage to get a garbage-time score when Browning hit Chase for a TD in the final minutes, and that was all she wrote in the 34-20 defeat.
Cincinnati is now 5-5 and will host the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 12.
Let’s hope Burrow will be under center.