The Ravens defeated the Cincinnati Bengals 27-3 in Week 5 of the 2020 NFL season. The Bengals entered the game as 14-point underdogs according to Bet365. The RSR staff reacts to the win here.
It’s hard to not feel like a spoiled fan for nit-picking a 27-3 division win.
And yet…when the defense comes to play like this, the 2019 team would have won more like 49-0, and that’s why 2020 feels so much different so far.
Nothing but big ups for Wink Martindale’s defense, which had been a bit maligned over the season’s first four weeks, and responded with, effectively, a shutout (who kicks a FG down 27-0 with a minute left?), seven sacks, an interception, two fumble recoveries, and a touchdown.
What the offense is doing, I really don’t know. The most generous explanation is that they had no fear of Joe Burrow leading a comeback, and decided to keep tinkering with this so-far-largely-ineffective passing attack, instead of just running the damn ball. Lamar Jackson was just 19-for-37, and had several passes that could have easily been interceptions dropped by Bengals defenders.
Again, it feels really odd to be underwhelmed by a 27-3 division win. But we know this team is capable of being so much better, based on what we saw a year ago.
27-0 and Zac Taylor takes the moral victory to prevent the shutout?….LAME!! The defense was dynamite today. Death, taxes and a turnover by Marcus Peters or Marlon Humphrey. Make that both today and two by Peters.
The defense had their way with the rookie qb Burrow today. Let’s not get too excited because after all this was the Bengals. While Burrow is a very promising quarterback he’s operating with a porous offensive line. Patrick Queen is a playmaker as well even though he’s had some rookie mistakes early in the season. The offense had some bright spots but still haven’t found their stride.
Another solid win and it looks like the Chiefs are about to lose to the Raiders. It’s a good day.
— The Ravens defense showed why they give rookie QBs fits. They played tremendously, forced key turnovers, and got incredible pressure on Burrow all day. It was a shame not to get the shutout, but that was by far the unit’s best performance this season.
— Lamar Jackson was surprisingly shaky today. I thought he made a number of highly questionable throws and was lucky to escape the game with only one interception. That said, he did enough to win the game, especially without being able to run himself too much.
— It still confounds me why the Ravens don’t run the ball more. They seem completely dedicated to being a pass-first offense, even when the game begs for the other approach. It makes no sense to me, and if they run more frequently, they may win this game by 30+.
The story of the game is Wink Martindale completely overwhelming Joe Burrow. The rookie was uncomfortable throughout and never really threatened to make this one competitive. The offense is still leaving a lot to be desired but we’re able to cobble together enough plays to keep a comfortable distance. While there are certainly kinks to work out, 4 and 1 is 4 and 1. There will be plenty of time for growth.