It was a heavyweight struggle between two of the NFL’s highest-paid quarterbacks. One delivered a knockout blow, whereas the opposite was merely knocked out.
On a bizarre and raucous evening full of accidents, penalties and a deflected move that became a landing with a somersault, Lamar Jackson accomplished 16 of 26 passes for 264 yards and two touchdowns to guide the Ravens to a 34-20 assertion victory over their AFC North rival Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday at M&T Bank Stadium.
Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow, in the meantime, fell on his wrist, injuring it within the second quarter, and by no means returned. Cincinnati coach Zac Taylor stated he believes Burrow suffered a sprained wrist, although dropping the sport would possibly sting even worse.
The victory retains the Ravens (8-3) atop the division, whereas the Bengals (5-5) dropped 2 1/2 video games again with seven to go after Baltimore’s season sweep.
It was additionally candy revenge for the Ravens, with Cincinnati having ended Baltimore’s season final yr throughout the wild-card spherical of the playoffs. Jackson was injured and didn’t play in that recreation.
This time it was Burrow who was largely helpless, and now the Bengals’ season might cling within the steadiness with a steep hill to climb even when he doesn’t miss any time.
The NFL’s highest-paid quarterback and the 2020 No. 1 total choose, Burrow related with operating again Joe Mixon on a 4-yard landing move halfway via the second quarter to cap a powerful 12-play, 82-yard drive. The rating swung momentum to the Bengals, giving them a 10-7 lead, nevertheless it wouldn’t final, and neither would their quarterback as he injured his wrist on the play.
He wasn’t the one one to depart the sport early.
Ravens tight finish Mark Andrews additionally suffered what’s believed to be a season-ending ankle damage on the Ravens’ opening scoring drive. As he hauled in a brief move from Jackson and turned towards the top zone, Logan Wilson delivered a controversial hip-drop deal with on the Bengals’ 4-yard line.
Andrews went down in anguish, Jackson slammed his helmet to the bottom, seemingly figuring out then the severity of the damage, and the tight finish left the sport and didn’t return.
“He’s going to be missed as a leader,” stated Harbaugh, who added that Andrews has a type of a excessive ankle sprain that can be believed to be greater than only a sprain. “He’s a fiery, emotional guy. He’s an energy-bringer every single day.”
The similar could possibly be stated of Jackson on Thursday.
The Ravens’ quarterback had an damage scare of his personal after happening on the sideline within the second quarter as he scrambled away from stress and obtained dragged to the turf. But it was only a momentary one.
Eventually, Jackson settled in and located his groove, too, at the very least nicely sufficient.
On the Ravens’ subsequent possession following Burrow’s damage, Jackson hit huge receiver Zay Flowers on a brief move and the rookie broke free down the left sideline for a 68-yard landing. Except receiver Odell Beckham Jr. was flagged for holding on the play and the ball got here again to the Ravens’ 32-yard line.
It didn’t matter.
Five performs afterward third-and-6 from the Bengals’ 37, Nelson Agholor snatched a brief move over the center that was tipped by a Bengals linebacker and scampered all the best way to the top zone. One possession later, Jackson related with wideout Rashod Bateman for a 10-yard rating to offer the Ravens a 21-10 lead on the half.
“[It was] very impressive,” Harbaugh stated of Jackson’s efficiency. “The ankle over there in the sideline where that deal happened, to bounce back and play the way he did and still have some mobility with hanging there to make those throws, it’s impressive.”
Less so had been the Bengals, particularly within the second half.
Still, even with out Burrow, Cincinnati managed to chip away, going 67 yards in 10 performs, with Evan McPherson connecting on a 26-yard discipline purpose to chop the deficit to 21-13 early within the third quarter.
But that was as shut as they’d get the remainder of the evening.
Justin Tucker added two discipline objectives and operating again Gus Edwards (12 carries for 62 yards) scored his second landing of the evening because the Ravens pulled away.
With Burrow completed, it was as much as backup Jake Browning to attempt to erase one other double-digit deficit towards Baltimore the best way the Browns did Sunday. He by no means had an opportunity, although.
Undrafted out of Washington in 2019, the 27-year-old veteran accomplished simply 8 of 14 passes for 68 yards and a landing to Ja’Marr Chase inside the ultimate two minutes with the sport out of attain. And with the Bengals unable to maneuver the ball via the air, the Ravens might key in on Mixon, who had a robust first half with 48 dashing yards and 29 receiving. He completed with 69 yards on 16 carries.
“We knew we let one slip [last week] and we weren’t gonna let that happen again,” stated Ravens exterior linebacker Odafe Oweh, who had one in every of 5 Ravens’ sacks. “We needed to make an announcement, not simply win.
“That was a big-a— win.”
So was Beckham’s efficiency. He completed with 4 catches for 116 yards, although he left the sport late within the fourth quarter with what seemed to be a shoulder damage after a tough deal with.
“It’s been a long time coming,” stated Beckham, who added that his shoulder was OK. “Been plenty of laborious work.
“Early on in the season, I was hurting. I couldn’t be myself. I didn’t have the explosion. I couldn’t move the way that I wanted to and I don’t think people really knew what I was dealing with.”
But now the Ravens should study to take care of not having one in every of their high move catchers in Andrews. Including Thursday, he had 45 catches for 544 yards and 6 touchdowns in 10 video games.
“It’s just tough,” Beckham stated of Andrews doubtless being out for the season. “It’s the toughest a part of this recreation.
“It’s very unfortunate. It’s a big hit for this team. Mark has been an integral part of this team since him and Lamar have been here.”
Said Jackson, who was drafted the identical yr as Andrews in 2018: “That’s very tough. We’re bread and butter, peanut butter and jelly, whatever you want to call it. That’s my boy, receiver 1 sometimes. … That’s tough.”
Ravens at Chargers
Sunday, Nov. 26, 8:20 p.m.
Radio: 97.9 FM, 101.5 FM, 1090 AM
Line: Ravens by 3 1/2