Already named to the Pro Bowl in his first season, second-year inside linebacker C.J. Mosley’s first career touchdown on a 41-yard fumble recovery return midway through the fourth quarter Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals nearly represented an occasion on which he’d take another step toward joining the Ravens’ legendary defenders.
His scamper into the end zone, and the ensuing extra point by kicker Justin Tucker, gave the Ravens a brief, 17-14 lead and nearly provided the blossoming star linebacker with his first signature, winning moment before an electric crowd at M&T Bank Stadium.
“The momentum definitely slid our way,” Mosley said. “It’s not over until it’s over, so we definitely weren’t just trying to calm down and say we had it in the bag. We’ve been down this road with the Bengals all the time, even in the last two games last year.”
Mosley’s touchdown gave the Ravens the lead for all of 13 seconds — on the next play from scrimmage, Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green darted through zone coverage and scored an 80-yard touchdown pass that represented the second of four would-be lead changes in the last seven-plus minutes of the game.
Other than the fumble recovery, Mosley was his typical self — always around the ball with six tackles, a pass defense, and a quarterback hit. In the first quarter, Bengals running back Jeremy Hill seemed to have the edge near the goal line, but Mosley beat him to the sideline and limited it to a 2-yard gain.
His one lapse in pass coverage, on running back Giovani Bernard’s 23-yard completion in the fourth quarter, came on a broken play on which Mosley jumped toward scrambling quarterback Andy Dalton and left Bernard open.
Overall, though, Mosley hasn't slipped much since his standout rookie season. He‘s tied for the team lead with fellow linebacker Daryl Smith at 21 total tackles, leads the team with two sacks after his Week 1 effort against the Denver Broncos, and has broken up three passes.