FAST REACTION: They Won!

Torrey Smith Marshal Yanda

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?

Yes.

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.

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About Mike Fast

Mike Fast
I was born and raised in Baltimore. But after a year at York College of Pennsylvania, I transferred to Towson University. At York and Towson, I hosted various radio shows, wrote for the school paper, spoke on a panel RE: college game day presentation at IBS conference in Manhattan and...more

9 Raves on “FAST REACTION: They Won!

  1. John P on said:

    Yes a win is a win. Yes, it’s better to win ugly than lose pretty.

    But let’s face it, Cincinnati just deserved to win even less than we did, and there really isn’t much to build on from this game.

    The Ravens front office should send Marvin Lewis flowers this week for his terrible calls. Those calls (not our play) proved to be the difference.

    • Daran C on said:

      I agree with your points to a certain extent John…..but the defence came up with huge plays on those questionable calls to make them look silly. Give credit where credit is due.

      My question is why did we get away from the unpedictable and exciting offensive play calling I saw for the first quarter and a half? Bengals had no idea what was coming. I must say that we can lack the killer instinct on offence, we could have buried them before halftime.

      Great job defence, it was a pleasure to watch you guys play yesterday. Chaos reborn (although I did almost lose it after the Hail Mary) lol

      Keep it going, beat the Bears and we are within 1 game! Go Ravens!

      • biscuit on said:

        Daran. I think that the Bengals did a good job adjusting in the 2nd half. Our inability to run the ball with any success made for easy adjustments on their part. There has to be balance between run and pass to catch a defense unprepared for the play. It seemed that once they figured the pass attack was our only weapon their defensive packages were soft zones which allowed for little dink and dunk passes while blanketing the long ball. You nailed it though. Our defense has come a long way.

        • Daran C on said:

          Biscuit. You are right on regarding the adjustments they made in the second half. It would have been nice to see at least some trickery attempted after that. There is no doubt our running game is terrible, and we can’t open holes in the middle. It is frustrating sometimes when I see RR dive into the pile for no gain when it looks like if he cut outside he would of had some running room. Can’t even recall him spinning off or heaven forbid breaking a tackle in open space. He seems to be going down before contact occurs.
          One thing I know from a fan’s perspective is I almost wet myself a little at the sight of the flea flicker and reverse to Tyrod. A little more of that please!

    • Big Bird on said:

      The Ravens D played great yesterday albeit that one last second play. On the Hail Mary, a guy only has one set of eyes. He had to slap that ball. If he had not, it may have been caught on the way to the ground. Note he was high above the crowd when he slapped it away. I only wish the Ravens had an O-Line. Lets you know how important that is…

  2. biscuit on said:

    Great points. It’s been a challenging year but they still scrape and claw. We are in the midst of a rebuilding year (a fact not an excuse). It’s impossible to have complete personnel turnover on offense, defense, and coaching (ahem Juan Castillo…) after a Super Bowl winning season and fire on all cylinders. The Ravens are going through the self- inflicted growing pains that some front offices don’t have the cobbles to do. It’s what will keep us relevant in the coming years.

    People are filleting Flacco for his numbers but he remains steadfast despite having a serious lapse in our running game. It’s about winning. Period. We could go to games last year like the 4th and 29 situation vs. the Chargers. We didn’t “deserve” that win but we pulled it out nonetheless. Sometimes that’s what you gotta do.

    I am excited to see this team push and keep games close despite the challenges. And let’s be honest, when didn’t this team win ugly? That’s how it goes around here. It’s in our DNA and I embrace it, despite the damage done weekly to my cardiac health. GO RAVENS!

  3. AF Msgt on said:

    I’m tired of hearing that the Bengals should have won. The point of the matter is they had 71 minutes to impose their will on the Ravens but could not do it. The Ravens won no matter how ineffective the seemed, they WON.

  4. Eric on said:

    Flacco had a subpar game, no doubt. He is receiving way too much criticism this morning, as is usual from this fan base. I thought he did a terrific job in the red zone, particularly on the TD pass to Clark by extending the play and a perfect dart to Smith on the second TD pass. He made those plays when he had to. I also thought that Smith could have caught the deep one in the 4th quarter that would have put the game away. Again, Flacco had a subpar game, but give the guy some credit for making plays. Put him in a Bengals uniform and they run away with the division.

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