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Instant analysis of the Ravens' 20-17 win over the Cincinnati Bengals

Pro FootballFootballBaltimore RavensPeriodicalsCincinnati BengalsJoe Flacco

Baltimore Sun reporters, columnists and editors give their thoughts on the Ravens' game against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 10 of the NFL season.

Jeff Zrebiec, reporter: This win does nothing but keep the Ravens' playoff hopes alive. It doesn't send a message to the rest of the NFL that the Ravens are about to go on a playoff run. It doesn't make you feel any better about their poor running game or their struggling offense as a whole. It doesn't give you confidence that they are going to go into Chicago and beat a Bears team that has some problems of its own. But it does help them stay afloat in the AFC playoff picture. The Ravens needed a win, no matter the circumstance, and they got it. But they're obviously going to have to play a lot better on the offensive end going forward to be viewed as legitimate playoff contenders.

Aaron Wilson, reporter: The Ravens may have salvaged their erratic season with a relatively bizarre 20-17 overtime victory over the Cincinnati Bengals. They built an encouraging lead, followed it with an epic collapse -- lowlighted by a failure to defend a Hail Mary pass -- and finished with timely plays after regulation. Other than a resurgent defense, the Ravens aren't much different after the victory because they still struggle to run the football and often get manhandled at the point of attack. Plus, quarterback Joe Flacco remains inconsistent with his accuracy and makes some head-scratching decisions. And the clock management needs upgrading.

Matt Vensel, blogger/reporter: At the end of a crazy game that both teams at times looked to be trying to give away, the Ravens survived a 17-point comeback, a last-second Hail Mary and another Bengals threat in overtime. This was a huge win for the Ravens, who inched back toward the playoff picture, but let's not pretend there was much to feel good about outside of the defense.

Peter Schmuck, columnist: In one of the strangest games of any season, the Ravens courted disaster and somehow managed to keep their season alive. There won't be much time for back-slapping, however, because this week's film review is going to require a case of anti-nausea medication.

Ron Fritz, sports editor: Justin Tucker rescues the Ravens from disaster, but the offense fails to do anything and the defense wilts in the second half -- again. It was a must-win, but it seems like the Ravens have more questions than answers. After the inexcusable tip-drill mistake by the secondary, it's hard to feel good about this win.

 

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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Pro FootballFootballBaltimore RavensPeriodicalsCincinnati BengalsJoe Flacco
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