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Ravens/Bengals Post Game Recap

The Ravens dominated the Bengals today gaining twice as many yards and holding the ball twice as long, but the final score did not reflect how lopsided the game was on the field. Lamar had a great game running the ball and he carried it 19 times for 153 yards and his speed to beat defenders on the edge is absolutely amazing. The Ravens ran the ball 43 times today and gained a whopping 269 yards on the ground. The other running backs did well but it was Lamar that ripped off the big runs in this game. If the Ravens can keep up this ground attack week after week – by year’s end they will lead the league in rushing yards and time of possession. Today, the Ravens offense was on the field just shy of 40 minutes which is great given the challenges the defensive unit is going through.

With today’s win the Ravens have put a little distance between the second place Browns who lost to Seattle today. The Bengals are done, but even at 1 – 4 I wouldn’t count the Steelers out because the AFC North will likely be won with a 9 and 7 record, and maybe even 500. The Ravens played well today, but frankly they will have to play better if they are going to beat the better teams in the NFL. Committing 10 penalties for 81 yards is way too sloppy especially when you are playing at home. They have a lot of things to clean up and not a lot of time to get them corrected and we will see just how resilient they are when they play the Hawks and the Patriots in the coming weeks. Here are some thoughts on today’s game.

• Bozeman accounted for 4 penalties today which was half of the team’s infractions. He was a concern coming into the season and so far he has not allayed any of our fears.
• Special teams had their worst game of the season – giving up an opening kick off return TD, missing a chance to pin the Bengals on the one-yard line, and committing penalties. Fortunately, Tucker delivered on all his attempts
• Ravens defense held the Bengals to a paltry 33 rushing yards which forced the Bengals to be one dimensional
• Mark Andrews had another big day with 6 catches for 99 yards which led all receivers on the day, but his leap in the second quarter of the game in which he fumbled was ill advised. Just a hunch, but I don’t think we will see Boyles and Andrews doing any Lords a Leaping in the weeks to come
• Auden Tate had a big game today for the Bengals catching 5 passes for 91 yards and although he was in tight coverage for most of them – he made some spectacular catches. I wondered at one point if the Ravens would move Humphries over to cover him
• Humphries, I am learning, is really an exceptional corner and while he doesn’t have the brash personality of some of the top NFL corners – he does go about his job with great skill. He smothered Boyd today and kept him to 3 catches for 10 yards and also got an interception. He has also perfected the play where you strip the ball from a receiver when he catches it – no one does it as well as he does
• Wink needs to clean up these 12 men on the field stuff, we have seen this like 3 or 4 games in a row and that is just an inexcusable penalty in my opinion
• The Ravens did not convert well in the RedZone today, and I really didn’t like the play calls when they got inside the 10-yard line. Coach Roman has to do better job with his calls and put Lamar in positions where he can be successful
• The Ravens defense again was unable to apply any consistent pressure on the QB. They recorded 2 sacks on the day and both of these were in the last 5 minutes of the game when everyone knew they were passing and the Ravens sent 6. Judon has a high motor which I appreciate, but his rushing technique is plain jane and he basically just tries to beat the tackle around the edge which works every once in the blue moon. The Ravens need an elite pass rusher and they need one tomorrow
• It was nice to see the Ravens offense try and get Justice Hill involved a bit more, he could be a nice change of pace in the running game as well as the screen pass
• I didn’t see a big drop off in play with Clark and Elliott replacing the injured Jefferson, which could be a good sign of things to come
• It is pretty amazing that the Ravens bring in two LBs with Bynes and Forte and they both have brought some needed stability in the middle
• Congrats to Lamar who becomes the first quarterback ever to run for over a 100 yard and pass for over 200 yards
• Congrats also go to Justine Tucker who is the youngest kicker in history to get to 1000 points. He is a special kicker and the Ravens are fortunate to have him on their team

.Game Predictions

Score      Ravens    27       Bengals 21          Ravens   23      Bengals   17
Turnovers         Plus 1                                              Even
Net Rushing Yardage       Ravens    170      Bengals 91          Ravens 269      Bengals   33
Net Passing Yardage      Ravens    250       Bengals 288          Ravens    228     Bengals   217

Miscellaneous Predictions

• Justice Hill has his biggest game of the season           Correct, 5 carries for 31 yards
• Hurst has 6 receptions for 74 yards            Incorrect, just one catch but I thought Andrews would sit
• Lamar will rush 11 times for 71 yards           Lamar ran 19 times for 152 yards
• Refs make terrible calls            Correct, missed a blatant hold on the opening kick off

Keys to the Game

• Win the turnover battle!           Correct, and I call being even a victory
• Pressure Dalton and get hands on him           Incorrect, Dalton had plenty of time
• Play ball control offense           Correct, Ravens had the ball twice as much as the Bengals

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