Coach John Harbaugh, QB Lamar Jackson and ILB Matthew Judon talk about their 23-17 win against Bengals on Sunday, October 13.
Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson finished with nearly 400 yards of total offense and the defense stifled the winless Cincinnati Bengals as the Ravens won their second straight game, 23-17.
Jackson finished with 236 passing yards (21-for-33) and a career-high 152 rushing yards, the fourth most by a quarterback in NFL history. He’s the first player to record at least 200 yards passing and 150 yards rushing in a regular-season game.
The Ravens, who improved to 4-2, will travel to Seattle in Week 7 for a showdown with the Seahawks (5-1), who beat the Browns, 32-28, on Sunday, dropping Cleveland to 2-4.
The Bengals fell to 0-6 but had a chance late. A 2-yard scramble by quarterback Andy Dalton cut the Ravens’ lead to 23-17, setting up an onside kick. Cincinnati recovered the kick, but the ball didn’t go the required 10 yards, and the Ravens took three kneel-downs to end the game.
The game got off to a nightmarish start at M&T Bank Stadium for the Ravens’ normally rock-solid special teams. After winning the coin toss, the Ravens decided to kick off. Then they decided to kick off short of the goal line, forcing a return. Brandon Wilson obliged. His 92-yard return for a touchdown marked the first time the Ravens have allowed a score on a kickoff since 2011.
The Ravens did not hesitate to respond against one of the NFL’s worst defenses. Jackson scored on a 21-yard keeper to tie the game, and the Ravens went ahead for good with a 1-yard push by running back Mark Ingram II later in the first quarter.
Even with Bengals cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick leaving the game with a knee injury, the Ravens struggled to maintain their rhythm. The offense didn’t re-enter the red zone until the fourth quarter, and kicker Justin Tucker was fortunate to have his second field-goal attempt ricochet off the left upright and through.
But the Ravens defense was up to the task against a Bengals offense missing wide receiver A.J. Green and its top offensive tackles. Cincinnati was held to 250 yards, and Dalton finished 21-for-39 for 235 yards and an interception.
Led by Jackson, who finished with 19 carries, the Ravens piled up 269 rushing yards. Ingram added 13 carries for 52 yards, and Gus Edwards had six carries for 34 yards.
Daniel Oyefusi, reporter: This game against the Bengals felt a lot like Lamar Jackson’s first career start, which came versus Cincinnati: A heavy dose of Jackson runs and, for the most part, a stout defense. Not a lot was learned about the Ravens in this win, as they faced a winless and undermanned team. But getting to 4-2 was important with two big games against the Seahawks and Patriots upcoming.
Peter Schmuck, columnist: The winless Bengals were no pushover, and they let that be known when Brandon Wilson took the opening kickoff 92 yards for a touchdown, but the Ravens answered that wake-up call by scoring on their first three possessions. The first half was Lamar Jackson at his versatile best, rushing for 111 yards and a touchdown while completing 14 of 20 passes for 168 yards. He spread the wealth in the second half as the Ravens ate up the clock and made sure to win a game they could not afford to lose.
Jonas Shaffer, reporter: The Ravens earned their first two-game winning streak of the season with a successful passing attack. This two-game streak was old school. The Ravens controlled the line of scrimmage, and Lamar Jackson had a historic day with his arm and legs. The defense has gotten back on track, too, but Seattle will challenge the Ravens next week. The Bengals are winless for a reason.
Childs Walker, reporter: The Ravens present a brutal matchup for a poor run defense, and the Bengals came in 31st in the NFL in that category. So the game followed a numbingly predictable blueprint, with the Ravens moving the ball relentlessly and controlling the clock behind a career-best running performance by quarterback Lamar Jackson. They didn’t win with sheer power so much as a dizzying variety of runs. If not for an opening kickoff return for a touchdown by the Bengals and a string of offensive-line penalties, they would have won by a wider margin. On defense, the Ravens again failed to generate a consistent pass rush but overpowered a poor offensive line at the point of attack. The Ravens didn’t tell us anything new with this win, but they had to have it with six of their next seven games coming against teams with at least .500 records. They’ve put themselves in solid position to defend their AFC North title.