The Ravens gained.
That’s one of the best factor you’ll be able to say concerning the group’s 34-20 win in opposition to the visiting Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday night time at M&T Bank Stadium.
The Ravens (8-3) beat the Bengals (5-5) for the second time this season and expanded their lead within the AFC North over the Cleveland Browns (6-3) and Pittsburgh Steelers (6-3), who will face off Sunday.
But there isn’t rather more to be taught from Thursday’s sport in terms of how far the Ravens would possibly go within the postseason.
The Ravens misplaced tight finish Mark Andrews to a possible season-ending ankle harm after he was tackled close to the objective line by linebacker Logan Wilson following a 9-yard reception with 11:05 left within the first quarter.
That’s devastating information, virtually as important because the Browns asserting Wednesday that quarterback Deshaun Watson will miss the remainder of the season with a shoulder harm he suffered final week in Baltimore.
Regardless, the Ravens gained, and that’s all that issues. Last Sunday, they misplaced to Cleveland, 33-31, after taking leads of 24-9 and 31-17 within the second half.
If they’d misplaced to Cincinnati on Thursday night time, they won’t have been in a position to get better. But the Ravens had been about to do sufficient on either side of the ball to shut out the much-needed victory.
It wasn’t a brilliant efficiency, nevertheless it supplied a way of aid over at The Castle.
There was nothing particular concerning the win. The Ravens had 405 yards of whole offense and held the Bengals to 272, however they weren’t dominant. They had been ok to win, particularly in opposition to a group that misplaced star quarterback Joe Burrow to a wrist harm late within the first half.
There had been a number of issues to love, akin to quarterback Lamar Jackson’s accuracy on brief to intermediate throws as he accomplished 16 of 26 passes for 264 yards and two touchdowns. The Ravens lastly began getting the ball into the arms of their playmakers, together with receivers Odell Beckham Jr. (4 catches for 116 yards) and Zay Flowers (3 for 43) and operating backs Gus Edwards (12 carries for 62 yards) and rookie Keaton Mitchell (8 for 33).
Defensively, the Ravens held the Bengals to 136 passing yards and 2-for-11 on third down. The Ravens delivered a whole effort in opposition to backup quarterback Jake Browning within the last two quarters, however they had been removed from elite for the second straight week.
In truth, they seemed weak in opposition to the run. Per week in the past, Cleveland pushed the Ravens round to the tune of 178 speeding yards, and the Bengals piled up 136 on Thursday.
That scares me, and so does Jackson’s inaccuracy on deep passes.
We’ve seen that trigger issues within the postseason early in Jackson’s profession when opposing groups would take away the center of the sphere and drive him to throw outdoors the numbers. The outcomes weren’t good.
It’s worse now that the Ravens shall be with out Andrews, Jackson’s go-to receiver and favourite goal contained in the pink zone. The Ravens had been already struggling as a result of they didn’t have a constant receiving menace on the surface, however a minimum of they’d Andrews to work the within of the sphere.
Now they’ve nobody. The Ravens had been so determined Thursday that they put fullback Patrick Ricard at tight finish. It wasn’t as a result of he may catch, however as a result of he was the one tight finish on the roster who may block. Isaiah Likely and Charlie Kolar are higher receivers than blockers.
The remaining a part of the Ravens’ schedule is rather more troublesome. It’s crammed with playoff contenders such because the Los Angeles Chargers, Jacksonville Jaguars, San Francisco 49ers, Miami Dolphins and Steelers.
You would really feel higher concerning the Ravens’ possibilities within the postseason if this group had a historical past of latest success, however they don’t have that pedigree.
They are a group that has misplaced double-digit leads six occasions for the reason that begin of final season, they usually have a quarterback in Jackson who has 13 touchdowns and 13 turnovers within the fourth quarter over the previous three years. Compared together with his friends Burrow (25 touchdowns, 11 turnovers), Josh Allen (29, 11) and Patrick Mahomes (21, 10) over the identical interval, it’s clear that it’s not ok.
But that’s all for down the highway.
The Ravens set themselves up with a win Thursday as a result of they don’t play one other sport for 10 days, adopted by the Week 13 bye.
That’s not a nasty place to be in at this level of the season.
They may have misplaced.