Jeff Zrebiec, Ravens reporter: The Ravens are only going to go so far relying on an ace kicker and a defense that bends plenty but doesn't break. At some point, their offense is going to need to put together four quality quarters and put away an overmatched team. However, the offense's continued inconsistency shouldn't take away from Justin Tucker's performance. People love belittling the role of the kicker and several Ravens had fun with Tucker after the game. But Tucker probably does his job better than anybody else in the NFL does theirs. He is one of the league's top weapons. A big reason why the Ravens are 6-5 and tied for first place in the AFC North is because Tucker is on their team. He's worth every penny.
Mike Preston, Ravens columnist: There is never a need to describe a Ravens win as ugly anymore because that would be redundant. The Ravens used four field goals from Justin Tucker to help beat the Bengals on Sunday, but they left a lot of points on the scoreboard. If the Bengals had receiver A.J. Green and running back Giovani Bernard, the outcome might have been different. With the win, the Ravens put the Bengals out of the playoff picture, but the Ravens' offense still has to improve. They can't be serious playoff contenders relying on field goals.
Edward Lee, Ravens reporter: The Ravens appeared to have this game in the bag midway through the third quarter, but the offense's usual foibles allowed the Bengals to make the outcome tighter than it should have been. Credit the defensive line for three batted passes and Elvis Dumervil's sack and strip on Cincinnati's final drive for cementing the win, but the Ravens should not feel too comfortable about their performance.
Mark Selig, Ravens editor: It should not have taken so long to put away a battered Bengals team, but there was more good than bad for the Ravens on Sunday. We've come to expect that the defense and kicker Justin Tucker will deliver, and they did again. Kenneth Dixon is becoming a bigger part of the offense each week; as the calendar turns to December the Ravens will need trust the run even more. Now let's see the Ravens put together a complete performance against the Dolphins, a good team that has won six straight (albeit against mediocre competition).
Ron Fritz, sports editor: Hey, Elvis was in the building. After doing little all game, Elvis Dumervil's strip of Andy Dalton late in the game preserved the Ravens' 19-12 lead and eventual 19-14 victory. Another pitiful offensive performance by the Ravens gave the Bengals life and they nearly stole the game. You keep thinking the Ravens are going to figure it out on offense, but Joe Flacco was shaky again and the kicker was your MVP.
Peter Schmuck, columnist: The Ravens are a contradiction in terms. They have one of the top defenses in the NFL and they are incapable of turning an early lead into an easy victory. Sunday, they led by 13 and needed a turnover with barely a minute left to hold onto a one-score win against a Bengals team that is in serious disarray. Sure, a win is a win, but at some point the Ravens have to start looking like a playoff team if they expect to get to the playoffs. To their credit, they did execute well on offense and, of course, Justin Tucker took care of the rest.
Childs Walker, reporter: The Ravens absolutely had to win, and the fact they did will obscure their near squandering of a 13-point lead against a badly wounded division rival. Justin Tucker produced his most remarkable game of a remarkable season, bailing out an offense that still is not clicking for long stretches. Despite the absence of superstar receiver A.J. Green, Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton exposed the lack of depth in the Ravens' secondary, especially in the second half. This win kept the Ravens where they need to be in the standings, but it didn't indicate great progress.