Ravens Slip Past Bengals, 24-21

Knee-Jerk Reactions Ravens Slip Past Bengals, 24-21

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The Ravens beat the Cincinnati Bengals 24-21 in Lamar Jackson‘s first career start in Week 11. RSR staff react to the win here…

Derek Arnold

I predicted 100% of the frustration of a normal Ravens game, along with about 20% more excitement. While LJ didn’t quite produce that much more excitement, the defense stepped up enough to lower the usual level of frustration as well.

I don’t think there should be any QB controversy. Against Marvin’s 32-ranked unit, I think LJ provided the perfect spark. However, against everyone else? Give me Joe Flacco as the best candidate to save John Harbaugh’s job.

If anything, we can keep adding more “Lamar packages” to the offense, but I think, if he’s healthy, #5 should get the call next week against Oakland. This was a nice (terrible) defense for LJ to get his feet wetter against. The (also terrible) Raiders are perfect for Flacco to ease back in off the injury.

As for the defense, kudos for getting the stop when it really mattered. After all the previous third-down failures, I was quite shocked they finally took care of business. In my mind, they are still quite suspect. For the Ravens to truly make any kind of push this November-December, they are going to have to plan to score 24+ points per game.

Chad Racine

Is Gus Edwards the new offensive star for the Ravens? It looks like he could be. The offensive line was opening up more holes than it had all season and Edwards and Lamar Jackson took full advantage. Lamar says he’s a quarterback first but it sure looks like he’s a running back first. I don’t care what you call him or what he does as long as he’s moving the ball down the field.

Willie Snead‘s effort on that 3rd down in the 4th quarter was refreshing to see any Raven fight like that. Chris Moore‘s amazing catch of Lamar’s pass thrown behind him was exceptional. The defense had me worried at the end of the game just because we have seen this play out so many times in the final minutes just to have our hearts broken.

The Ravens are right there for a wild card spot but have some tough games ahead. Like most fans, I have been losing hope but was happy to be proven wrong today.

Keep proving us wrong Ravens!

Brandon Portney

How about that, RavensFlock?!

Big win in a must-win situation. The Ravens went full on ground and pound (I can’t believe I said that), running the ball on 54 of their 73 offensive snaps (a 74 percent rate) for a total of 265 yards (REALLY?!). A big reason for that was Lamar Jackson making his first start. Not only did he rush for a team-leading 117 yards, but he demands the defenses attention at all times, and often pulled a couple defenders away from the ball carrier.

Jackson also threw for 150 yards and an INT on 13/19 passing.

All in all it was an impressive first start for LJ. Lamar wasn’t the only 100-yard rusher for the Ravens today. How about Gus Edwards?! Gus ran the ball 17 times for 115 yards while Alex Collins ran 7 times for only 18 yards. It will be interesting to see if Edwards is the starter moving forward. I think he should be. He was the best running back in the preseason and is still the best running back on this team.

So will Harbaugh stick with the young guns in LJ and Edwards, or go back to Flack and AC? I’m hoping for the former. I love an offense that pounds the football, it’s good for winning.

And that’s what we all want here in Bmore… a winning football team.

Nick Capecci

The future has arrived. It wasn’t a perfect performance, but there was a lot to like from Lamar Jackson’s first start. The Bengals gave him some looks that even Flacco didn’t see the first time around, and for the most part Lamar played well. Gus Edwards seems to be the hot set of legs now, and we will continue to see what he has.

The defense is still frustrating to watch because of mental mistakes. It needed this win to install some confidence in this unit, but it still needs some rearrangement and get other players more playing time. Guys like Chuck Clark, Michael Pierce, and Tim Williams will just need to see more playing time to keep other guys fresh as well.

Jackson needs to continue being the starter, as he can only improve my seeing more snaps, reads, and play calls.

This was a step forward and the team can’t afford to take any more steps back.

John Darcey

Show of hands if you had Gus Edwards as the lead back today? Kudos to him! Was his production a by product of Lamar in at QB? Probably, but it was nice to see a commitment to the ground game for a change.

The defense continues to worry me. Too many times today did Dalton complete passes to wide open receivers. Though they did get pressure, this defense to me is still very suspect.

I refuse to fully judge Lamar under this coaching staff or after one game. Yes, they moved the ball, but I felt like I was watching a college offense. NFL defensive coordinators will figure out how to stop that sooner rather then later. The amount of hits Lamar took are way too much for me for my franchise QB. Too many times were designed runs called or he puled the ball back. At this rate, Marty is trying to kill him!

The pass needs to be mixed in more. Lamar threw 20 times compared to 27 rushes. Marty as usual did not do a good enough job of keeping the defense off balance and became kind of predictable. Against a halfway decent defense this game plan would have not worked.

The biggest question going into this week is, does the coaching staff stick with Lamar or put Joe Flacco back in if healthy?

This will be a story line worth watching the rest of the year.

Carey Stevenson

In typical Raven fashion, they made it interesting. Lamar Jackson sparked a struggling running game but with a surprise beneficiary in Gus Edwards. The defense challenged receivers at the LOS and was able to disrupt rhythm just enough to get the job done. The offensive game plan was stale, which is concerning considering how long they had to prepare.

While the defense played a solid, it’s also concerning that many of these young defenders aren’t turning the corner.

The Ravens are now in the 6th spot in playoff seeding but a lot more will be required in order to finish the season there.

Ryan Jones

The Ravens could have lost this game and it wouldn’t have mattered that much to me. Would I like to see them sneak into the playoffs? Of course I would, but this game was about Lamar Jackson and the future, plain and simple.

As far as I’m concerned he passed the test. Were there some ugly moments? Sure, but he he put the Ravens in position to win and the moment didn’t look to big for him. I appreciate everything Flacco has done for the Ravens. He brought the team a Super Bowl and stabilized the position for a franchise that had previously struggled with it.

But it’s time for a change and I personally have not been this excited about the Ravens in quite some time.

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