NFL: In search of revenge, Ravens clash with Bengals
Joe Burrow carved up the Baltimore Ravens for 941 yards and seven touchdowns in two victories last season.
The star quarterback looks to maintain that level of success when the Cincinnati Bengals visit the Ravens in an AFC North battle on Sunday night.
The Bengals (2-2) scored 41 points in each of the two victories and won the games by an average of 22 points.
Burrow established a personal best with 525 passing yards in a Week 16 home win over the Ravens. He also tossed a then-high four scoring passes that he equaled the following week.
Burrow said the first win was a big one for the franchise. He passed for 416 yards and Cincinnati scored the final 28 points during a 41-17 rout in Baltimore in Week 7.
“When we went into Baltimore and beat them the way we did, we proved to ourselves that we were who we thought we were and we built from that point on,” Burrow said Wednesday of a season that eventually ended in a Super Bowl loss to the Los Angeles Rams.
Star receiver Ja’Marr Chase had 201 receiving yards in Week 7 and 15 receptions for 326 yards in the two meetings.
Baltimore had won the previous five matchups prior to last season’s Cincinnati sweep. Quarterback Lamar Jackson missed the second meeting with an injured ankle.
Jackson is healthy and off to a good start with 893 passing yards, 11 touchdowns and four interceptions in 2022. He also has rushed for 316 yards and two scores.
However, he passed for just 144 yards in last Sunday’s 23-20 loss to the Buffalo Bills despite completing 20 of 29 passes.
Baltimore coach John Harbaugh made a shaky decision in the setback by passing on a field goal and instead going for it on fourth-and-goal from the Buffalo 2-yard line with the game tied at 20 with 4:15 left. Jackson was intercepted on the ensuing play and the Bills used the rest of the clock with Tyler Bass kicking the winning 21-yard field goal as time expired.
Harbaugh has stated that he stands by the decision. But tight end Mark Andrews said it runs deeper than the coach taking responsibility.
“All 11 guys just need to be a little bit better, a little sharper,” Andrews said. “I have a lot of confidence in this offense, this team, the guys that we have to make that play right there. I love that coach trusts us to do that and put the game away. Hopefully when we get another opportunity like that, we’ll be ready to go.”
Still, cornerback Marcus Peters was peeved after the setback and had to be restrained while exchanging words with Harbaugh. The coach said the incident won’t have a carryover effect.
“Marcus is an emotional guy, I’m an emotional guy,” Harbaugh said. “I’m not worried about that at all. We’ll be fine. … I don’t anticipate any issues at all.”
However, Peters declined to discuss the situation with reporters on Wednesday.
Defensively, safety Marcus Williams (three interceptions), cornerback Marlon Humphrey (two) and Peters (one) will look to slow Burrow, who has passed for 1,099 yards, eight touchdowns and four interceptions this season.
Despite the easy nature of Cincinnati’s wins last season, Bengals tight end Hayden Hurst, a first-round pick by the Ravens in 2018, expects a fierce battle.
“The AFC North is always mayhem,” Hurst said. The games are always crazy, no matter who it is.”
Four Ravens missed practice Wednesday due to injuries: Receiver Rashod Bateman (foot), running backs J.K. Dobbins (chest) and Justice Hill (hamstring), and outside linebacker Justin Houston (groin).
Tight end Devin Asiasi (ankle) was the only Cincinnati player to sit out due to injury on Wednesday.
–Field Level Media