The Cincinnati Bengals came into M&T Bank Stadium and took care of the hosts, 41-17. RSR staff react to the loss here…
Good for the Bengals. They saw today as a statement game for them and came in and made just that. That they were aided by a Ravens team that once again had no interest in tackling (giving up 500+ yards AGAIN?!), football gods that made sure every bounce went to them (think of the tipped third-quarter third-down Joe Burrow pass that went right into the waiting arms of a Cincy WR for a first down), and by zebras that were totally blind to their miscues (the first Cincy penalty was called with seven minutes to play in the fourth quarter)? Details, surely.
Just as the Los Angeles Chargers will burn last week’s film, the Ravens need to burn this week’s. Simply a putrid effort.
— Why does John Harbaugh eschew his special teams weapon Justin Tucker? Instead of attempting a 50+ yard FG in the second quarter, Harbs opted for a Sam Koch punt. It sailed into the end zone, and Cincy scored a TD like four plays later. It seems odd to gripe about three in a 24-point loss, but the game was still tight at that time. Take the damn points.
— If this team really considers themselves contenders, then Eric DeCosta needs to move heaven and earth over the bye week to get an actual threat into this backfield. When Lamar Jackson has to play quarterback and running back by himself, you’re starting every game behind the eight ball. The geriatric backfield was fun for a bit, but it isn’t getting it done.
So… that didn’t smell good. We’ve spoken endlessly on the Ravens’ weaknesses this season, but this week saw their strengths get exposed, starting with Marlon Humphrey and Lamar Jackson. Let’s chalk it up to a bad day and go enjoy a bye week with a 5-2 record and plenty of room for improvement. Rashod Bateman looked nice, right? Yeah, let’s go ahead and celebrate that. Let’s do that.
I’m trying not to overreact but it’s hard to have faith in the defense going forward. The same issues show up week after week with the exception of last week. The Bengals are a great team on both sides of the ball and they played a great game so that shouldn’t be overlooked. Neither should being outplayed at home in the first division game this year.
I thought the Vegas line was too much and expected this to be a close game. I didn’t see a blowout coming. What’s funny is that, before the late TD runs, the Ravens shut down Cincy’s running game, held them to 4-12 on third down and won TOP. Usually, you would feel good about that.
But Marlon Humphrey got dominated all game and that really cost him, as he alluded to in the post game press conference. Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase (he A.J. Green’ed us) dominated and that ended up opening other things up, like C.J. Uzomah and the late TD runs (game was over by then anyway).
Lamar had some poor mechanics today and that led to a lot of poor throws. The offensive line, which lost Patrick Mekari (hopefully not for long), played poorly and Lamar was pressured all day.
I think any Ravens fan would have been good with a 5-2 record heading into the bye week but what is your real confidence level for this team to end the season well and make a run in the playoffs? They need Lamar to be Superman every game and if he’s not, they struggle.
At least the bye week is here and they can try to button some things up and “get healthy.”
PUT ME IN, COACH!
That was… one of the hardest games we’ve had to watch in a while. Lamar looked shaky from the get-go, but we’ve seen that before and watched him dial it in as the game went on. That didn’t happen much today, and I can’t tell if his indecision or his protection was worse.
Our defense looked nothing short of miserable. We couldn’t BUY a tackle out there. You give up two jailbreak TDs to C.J. Uzomah, you can pretty much expect the game to get away from you. I have to say there’s a ton of comfort in knowing we can rest up next week and hopefully get some guys back. Everyone could sure use the extra film sessions.
Fear not, Ravens fans, we still have a very good football team in Baltimore, one that I still believe is better than the Bengals. Today’s game is just part of life in the NFL, where anything can happen on any given Sunday, even a three-score loss to Cincinnati at home. I need to watch the tape, but I have a lot of questions about the defensive playcalling today. Tackling and coverage were, again, huge issues as well. A lot to work on going into the bye, but I’d rather have these issues exposed early in the season with time to improve rather than in the playoffs when it matters most.
Offensively, I’m most concerned about Patrick Mekari’s injury, as I do not trust Tyre Phillips at RT. Jackson didn’t look as razor-sharp passing as he did against the Colts and the Chargers, but the offense still played pretty well overall, except on third down. Rashod Bateman is proving to be the real deal, consistently getting open, making catches, and picking up plenty of YAC.
At least this one wasn’t another nail biter?