Ravens score vs. Bengals takeaway: Justin Tucker helps Baltimore edge Cincinnati with field goal

The Ravens entered “Sunday Night Football” in Week 5 after losing a record five straight games on their home turf. But none other than Justin Tucker ended that streak in spectacular fashion against the rival Bengals. The most accurate kicker in NFL history had four different point opportunities in the prime-time spotlight, and he delivered all four, including a 58-yard and the game-winning 43-yard field goal. end of the allotted time. Lamar Jackson’s own legs helped seal the Ravens’ 19-17 win, which cemented Baltimore atop the AFC North and sent Joe Burrow and Co. below the .500 mark.

The Ravens’ narrow win also ended a losing streak at home. Among the team’s five straight home losses in Sunday night’s rivalry were games in which Baltimore was up 17 and 21 points but still lost. Jackson helped the Ravens take a 10-0 lead in Sunday’s game, but the Bengals tied it before halftime. Tucker, meanwhile, has now scored 72 straight field goals in the second half and overtime, including a record 59 in the fourth quarter and overtime, by the Baltimore Sun.

Here are some more takeaways from Sunday night’s AFC North showdown:

Why the Ravens won

They held the ball last. Seriously, Sunday’s game wasn’t the prettiest, with both teams struggling for third downs and failing to produce effectively in the air, so that helped Baltimore control the ball to close out the game. Jackson was even more erratic than usual while throwing it deep, missing several wide open targets on the court. But the No. 8 came to life late with one rope to Mark Andrews after another, and his sneaky outside the pocket came in handy on some key runs to set up Tucker’s game-winning basket late in the game. allotted time. Despite some decent wins from JK Dobbins and Kenyan Drake out of the backfield, Jackson remained the difference maker on the field.

Defensively, the Ravens were easily at their best since the team’s Week 1 rout of the Jets. Coordinator Mike Macdonald, much maligned in recent weeks, composed blitzes at the right time as three different players went to Burrow. While his unit allowed a late 13-game score that took Cincy to a brief 17-16 lead, he also stuffed the Bengals on a split effort in the red zone, Marcus Peters breaking a backhand ; and saw Patrick Queen record an easy Burrow pick earlier in the night.

Why the Bengals lost

It’s kind of a weary critic to blame Zac Taylor for his lack of offensive pace, but the predictability issues persisted for Cincinnati: too often early on, Burrow and Co. ran under center and threw the shotgun – which sounds great until you realize how incredibly rare it is for them to mix in action games or shotgun racing. Joe Mixon moved well taking 14 carries, but Burrow struggled to maintain practices with such an outdated strategy, not to mention Tee Higgins missing due to injury.

When Taylor got into creative play calls, he did so at the wrong time, killing a trip to the red zone with a double backhand and a shovel pass that essentially knocked the ball out of Burrow’s hands. A combined 13 catches from Ja’Marr Chase and Hayden Hurst couldn’t save the effort, nor could another spirited outing from the defense, which knocked out Jackson and kept the Ravens’ QB down to just 5. 4 yards per attempt. In a tight game with nearly even possession time, they just couldn’t find the explosiveness.

Turning

Immediately after the Bengals ran for 75 yards, raking nearly eight minutes behind to take a 17-16 lead in the fourth, the Ravens turned to what they do best: the ground game. After a penalty on Cincy pushed Baltimore to its own 45-yard line, Jackson ripped a 19-yard gain as he drove in and out of potential tacklers on the right side. His read option run brought the ball up to the Bengals’ 36 and put the Ravens in control of the clock while pushing deeper into Tucker territory for the win.

Game of the game

The Ravens were up three with just over four minutes left in the third quarter when Burrow and Co. came knocking. Taylor even composed something creative (!) for the Bengals’ red-zone trip, deploying a “Philly Special” double backhand. But Marcus Peters ruined it — and preserved Baltimore’s lead — by stealing to knock down Tyler Boyd and set up a third and a goal on a practice the Bengals would close without points.

And after

The Ravens (3-2) will hit the road to face Brian Daboll’s Giants (4-1), who stunned the Packers in London on Sunday morning. The Bengals (2-3), meanwhile, will hit the road to face the Saints (2-3), who edged out the Seahawks in the shootout.

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