Instant analysis: Behind Lamar Jackson’s big day, Ravens rout Bengals, 49-13, extend winning streak to 5

Lamar Jackson became just the second quarterback in NFL history to post two perfect passer ratings in a single season and added an electrifying 47-yard touchdown run to lead the Ravens to a 49-13 win Sunday over the host Cincinnati Bengals.

In three quarters, Jackson finished 15-for-17 for 223 yards, three touchdowns and a 158.3 passer rating. But the game’s highlight was a zone-read keeper in which he juked, spun and ran his way through the Bengals defense.


Jackson, who opened the season with a 158.3 passer rating in a blowout win of the Miami Dolphins, joins the Pittsburgh Steelers’ Ben Roethlisberger (2007) as the only players in NFL history with multiple perfect ratings.

The Ravens’ first sweep of the Bengals (0-9) since 2011 extended their winning streak to five, their first such run since 2006, when they finished 13-3. Ahead of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ late-afternoon kickoff against the Los Angeles Rams, the Ravens (7-2) had a 2½-game lead in the AFC North.

Other than the Ravens’ first-half run defense and some special teams sloppiness, there wasn’t much for coach John Harbaugh to quibble with. The offense scored a touchdown on five of its first six drives, the exception being a drive that started with 26 seconds left in the first half. Jackson’s lone first-half incompletion came on a spiked ball during that drive.

Wide receiver Marquise “Hollywood” Brown finished with four catches for 80 yards and a touchdown, including a 49-yard reception on the first play from scrimmage. Tight ends Nick Boyle, Mark Andrews and Hayden Hurst combined for catches for 12 catches on 13 targets for 151 yards and two touchdowns.

The Ravens defense wasn’t bulletproof, but it more than made up for its letdowns with big plays. Cornerback Marcus Peters returned his second interception for a touchdown in his three games with the Ravens in the second quarter. In the third, outside linebacker Tyus Bowser returned a fumble 33 yards for a touchdown after defensive tackle’s Patrick Ricard’s strip-sack of Bengals rookie quarterback Ryan Finley (16-for-30 for 167 yards, a touchdown and the interception).

Even on a day with a pair of defensive scores and a perfect passer rating, Jackson’s third-quarter run provided the game’s most enduring moment. With the Ravens up by 18, Jackson took a keeper off left tackle, cut upfield, juked past one defender and then spun past two more. Only running back Mark Ingram II, sprinting upfield to block for his quarterback, seemed to slow his race to the end zone. Soon after, chants of “M-V-P” bounced around Paul Brown Stadium.

Instant analysis

Daniel Oyefusi, reporter: The Ravens started the second half of their schedule with an all-around beatdown of the still-winless Bengals. While the football world will likely talk about Jackson’s “Madden”-esque 47-yard touchdown run, he delivered his second perfect passing performance of the season. The Bengals had some success moving the ball down the field against the Ravens defense, but the unit added two more touchdowns to its resume this season, further proving it’s the most opportunistic defense in the NFL. The real meat of the Ravens’ schedule starts next week, with MVP candidate Deshaun Watson and the Houston Texans coming to M&T Bank Stadium, followed by games against the Rams, 49ers and Bills. This three-game stretch should give us a good idea of whether the Ravens end the regular season with a first-round bye.

Jonas Shaffer, reporter: What can be said of Lamar Jackson that hasn’t been said already? He was the game’s best player, and he might just be the NFL’s best, too. He passed with accuracy, ran with style and won with ease. The Ravens are improved on defense, but they have to feel good about just how unstoppable their offense looks.

Peter Schmuck, columnist: Just a wonderful performance by Lamar Jackson, who missed on only one pass all day (his other incompletion was a spike) and delivered a magical touchdown run to go with his three touchdown passes. He made big play after big play, hitting Marquise Brown with two long passes, and peppered his three tight ends with accurate throws from just about every arm angle. The Bengals found out the hard way what everyone in Baltimore already knows: Jackson is, quite simply, a revelation. Of course, the Ravens probably could have won without him ... or the rest of the offense. The defense also put up enough points to outscore the Bengals, with two touchdowns off turnovers.

Childs Walker, reporter: This Ravens offense is borderline unfair against a poor defense such as Cincinnati’s. The Ravens began the day by cashing play-action passing receipts on their remarkable running production from the first eight weeks of the season. Lamar Jackson was nearly perfect as a passer, and lest we forget the other side of his game, he delivered an all-time spin move on a 47-yard touchdown run that will live on in endless replays. The Bengals could not hope to cover the Ravens’ three tight ends or keep up with Greg Roman’s creative option calls. On defense, the Ravens actually struggled against rookie quarterback Ryan Finley for much of the first half. But cornerback Marcus Peters showed us the out-sized value of an elite playmaker when he baited Finley into a pick-six that essentially put the game away. The one cloud over this game was the foot injury to defensive tackle Michael Pierce. But the Ravens are remarkably confident right now and staring at a season of limitless possibilities.

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