Did the Ravens win or did they lose?
Well, they should’ve been able to—
Did they win or lose?
Yeah, but Joe Flacco and the offense—
Did they win?
The 20-17 overtime win was the Ravens’ 20th all-time win against the Bengals and their 100th home win (combined Memorial and M&T Bank Stadium wins). It was also their first win in five weeks.
For a milestone game, it was appropriately reminiscent of former Ravens victories. A struggling offense, a fierce defense and a tremendous kicking game were what helped the Ravens win before and was what helped the Ravens win today.
“A lot of people say, you play long enough in this league, you’ll experience just about everything,” said Justin Tucker during the Ravens’ post-game press conference. Tucker was alluding to a comment he made to rookie fullback Kyle Juszczyk on the sideline, right before Andy Dalton connected with A.J. Green for the game-tying touchdown on the final play of regulation.
Tucker also said, “We feel like we’re a team that’s built for these types of games.”
I suppose that’s a good thing. Of course Tucker doesn’t mean they’re a team built to struggle, give away the lead and barely hang on. He means the Ravens are a team that doesn’t flinch during pressure situations and are able to play through fatigue and adversity.
It’s been said before but it’s worth noting again: Seven of the nine games the Ravens have played this year have been decided by eight points or less (one possession). Sure they have a lot of work to do, but that kind of exposure to close games will, if nothing else, teach the Ravens how to play focused football for 60 minutes.
You can talk about Flacco’s interceptions (and the ones dropped by the Bengals). You can talk about the dumbfounding play of James Ihedigbo, tipping the ball up on the final play of regulation to a wide open A.J. Green. You can talk about how Bernard Pierce gained more rushing yards (31) than Ray Rice did (30) on 10 less carries.
Be frustrated that things didn’t go well. Be upset that the Ravens allowed an improbable, unbelievable touchdown at the end of regulation. But if you’re a fan, be happy with and thankful for a win (against the division leader).
Other reasons to be pleased include the play of DeAngelo Tyson (one sack) and Elvis Dumervil (2.5 sacks). Also Torrey Smith found the end zone for the first time in five weeks. Jimmy Smith played well too, and he didn’t seem to be bothered by his groin injury.
What’s probably been the best and most consistent part of the Ravens season so far has been the play of their kicker. Tucker hasn’t missed a kick since Week 2, and has since gone 16-for-16, a streak which includes two game-winners.
The Ravens have now beaten the Bengals four straight times in Baltimore. The win pushes Baltimore’s record to 4-5 (2-2). They will travel to Chicago next week for a game against the 5-4 Bears.
I thought the Ravens would play a three-point game against the Bengals, but I predicted that they would lose.
It goes to show that no matter what you or I say about this Ravens team, they, to an extent, don’t care. Or at least that’s what I’d imagine, because at the end of the day they are the ones on the field, not us.
Enjoy this week, Ravens nation. They won.