Coach John Harbaugh mentioned there aren’t “any feelings” with regards to the Ravens and Bengals enjoying as soon as once more, this time within the playoffs. But Sunday’s recreation belied that sentiment.
The Ravens had been short-handed throughout their regular-season finale in Cincinnati as a number of starters rested forward of the playoffs, however the recreation wasn’t any much less aggressive or chippy due to it.
A seldom-used Bengals lineman sparked a sideline confrontation between the groups, two Ravens rookies exchanged heated phrases with the opponents and the Bengals used choreographed celebrations as Cincinnati topped Baltimore, 27-16, on Sunday.
The matchup’s consequence was largely determined after the Bengals jumped out to an early lead, however nonetheless, the sport featured some animosity, and there could possibly be extra in subsequent week’s installment of Bengals vs. Ravens, Part Three.
The Ravens might have performed all of their starters Sunday in an try to earn home-field benefit within the AFC wild-card spherical (in the event that they’d gained after which gained a coin toss), however Harbaugh finally determined to not. Cornerback Marlon Humphrey likened Sunday’s recreation to a “scrimmage,” because the all-important matchup comes subsequent week, however it nonetheless had the texture of a passionate prelude.
Next Sunday evening will mark the third time the rivals have performed this season and the primary time they’ve ever confronted each other within the playoffs.
“I don’t have any feelings about it,” Harbaugh mentioned of enjoying the Bengals once more. “There are no feelings. There is just preparation and getting ready to go compete.”
But the sport had fiery moments. The groups almost bought right into a shoving match when Bengals lineman Jackson Carman blocked outdoors linebacker Tyus Bowser into the Ravens’ sideline within the second half, prompting Ravens gamers to swarm Carman and different Bengals to hurry over.
“He just wanted to make an impression for his guys,” outdoors linebacker Justin Houston mentioned of Carman, a backup. “If he was out there the whole game, he definitely wouldn’t have done that. He ain’t got the energy to do it.”
The Bengals, who’ve gained eight straight video games, celebrated a pair of interceptions with a coordinated routine and Joe Mixon made enjoyable of the NFL’s playoff situation decision-making by pulling a coin out of his glove, flipping it and kicking it alongside teammates to rejoice the Bengals’ first landing.
Just earlier than halftime, Ravens rookie heart Tyler Linderbaum and security Kyle Hamilton had what gave the impression to be a vigorous dialogue with Cincinnati gamers.
The recreation’s contentiousness solely added to the drama that’s set for subsequent week, as two rivals face off in a postseason matchup.
“It was just the nature of the game. Both teams [were] playing hard, so it was nothing personal, but we’ll be ready to go next week, and so will they,” Linderbaum mentioned.
The Ravens gained the squads’ Week 5 matchup and the groups are 1-1 in opposition to one another heading into subsequent week’s rubber match, with the winner advancing to the divisional spherical. Humphrey known as it “kind of exciting” to play them as soon as once more.
“We kind of just studied them, so as [safety] Chuck [Clark] said, ‘We just had a scrimmage.’ It was a scrimmage we wish we would have won, obviously, but to play them again, they’re pretty familiar with us, [and] we’re pretty familiar with them,” he mentioned. “So, it’s just going to be who’s a better team. I think when you play a team three times, the better team should usually show.”
When requested in regards to the recreation’s depth degree, inside linebacker Roquan Smith mentioned “it was very high.”
“We came up short, but, hey I’m looking forward to next week, seeing these guys again,” he mentioned with a smile. “I think it’ll be even sweeter then, for all the marbles.”
Defensive finish Calais Campbell, who almost notched his a centesimal profession sack within the recreation however got here up quick, mentioned afterward that the Cincinnati crowd was “talking a little trash.” Within a matter of days, the Ravens will likely be again at Paycor Stadium, in entrance of that very same crowd, enjoying the identical crew — this time, in a recreation with considerably extra which means.
“It’s a division opponent that we know very well, they know us very well,” he mentioned. “There’s a lot of passion behind the ballgame. That’s what it’s all about. It’s win or go home.”
Ravens at Bengals
Sunday, 8:15 p.m.
TV: Chs. 11, 4
Radio: 97.9 FM, 101.5 FM, 1090 AM