Five Things We Learned from the Ravens' 20-17 win over Bengals
Childs Walker analyzes what we can take away from the Ravens' roller-coaster win over the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday afternoon at M&T Bank Stadium.
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2. The Ravens' defense played an inspired game( Karl Merton Ferron, Baltimore Sun / November 10, 2013 )
Many players deserve credit for the defense's badly needed stand, and the entire group received a game ball for its efforts.
After a string of poor performances, cornerback Lardarius Webb was a force again. He disrupted Andy Dalton with a series of early blitzes and showed his grit when he wrestled an interception away from Bengals receiver Marvin Jones. He called it his best all-around game of the season.
Webb was arguably the team's most valuable defender when he hurt his knee last season. His return to that level would be a godsend.
"Last week kind of had me down," Webb said. "So I worked my butt off in practice this week. I had to get better. I know I'm not 100 percent, but I just had to get better."
Safety James Ihedigbo made the first two interceptions of his career and a game-saving tackle in overtime, overcoming his unlucky role as the deflector of Green's Hail Mary catch.
"I was really proud of our secondary," Harbaugh said.
The defensive front generated pressure from many points, as it has for much of the season. Dalton made a string of horrid throws in part because the Ravens pounded him from the first quarter to the fourth.
Elvis Dumervil, who looks like a better signing every week, led the way with 2.5 of the team's five sacks. If the Ravens can combine rush and coverage as they did against the Bengals, they'll be good enough to contend on at least one side of the ball.