Ravens cornerback Corey Graham had already witnessed just how dangerous Cincinnati Bengals rookie running back Giovani Bernard can be during the fourth quarter Sunday.
It was Bernard who sooted away from the defense on an 18-yard screen pass for a touchdown in regulation.
So, Graham knew what he was facing in overtime of the Ravens' 20-17 victory at M&T Bank Stadum.
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And when Bernard cut back to his left in overtime on a 4th-and-2 reception, Graham immediately recalled the rookie’s electrifying touchdown run against the Miami Dolphins, when he reversed field and danced around would-be tacklers for a 35-yard score that made plenty of highlight tapes.
The Ravens defense contained Bernard, though, as Graham decked him for an 11-yard loss after strong safety James Ihedigbo cut off the former North Carolina star in pursuit. The key tackle gave the ball back to the Ravens and led to the game-winning field goal by Justin Tucker.
“What he did against Miami, that’s exactly what was on all of our minds,” Graham said. “When it happened, we were like, ‘Oh no, not this again.’ He’s really good. He tried to stiff-arm me.”
Bernard finished with 58 yards on 14 carries, averaging 4.1 yards per rush. He also caught eight passes, but gained just 4.6 yards per reception to finish with 37 yards.
"They ran the play earlier in the game, and the offensive lineman, he grabbed me, and I couldn’t get off the block, so the other guys made the tackle," Ihedigbo said. "Once I saw the tight end go to the other side, I said, ‘Oh, they’re running it again.’
"It just clicked. He broke out. He’s a strong runner, Giovani Bernard. He’s a very strong runner, chased him down, bottled him up.”