Take-home points from Ravens’ dominant win over Bengals

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - OCTOBER 11: Patrick Queen #48 of the Baltimore Ravens celebrates after recovering a fumble during the first half against the Cincinnati Bengals at M&T Bank Stadium on October 11, 2020 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Todd Olszewski/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - OCTOBER 11: Patrick Queen #48 of the Baltimore Ravens celebrates after recovering a fumble during the first half against the Cincinnati Bengals at M&T Bank Stadium on October 11, 2020 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Todd Olszewski/Getty Images) /

The Ravens got the win. Here are the quick takeaway points:

The Ravens recently polished off a dominant 27-3 win over the Cincinnati Bengals, and there was a familiar theme to this one for longtime Ravens fans — the defense suffocated an inexperienced quarterback into mistakes and turnovers, while the offense did just enough to take home a win over a division rival.

The thing is, well, Ravens’ fans came to expect a significantly different type of game after last season’s fireworks, and the inconsistent unit taking the field this year has started to raise concerns. For some.

For others, like me, the Ravens earned another convincing win today, and there is plenty of evidence to suggest this team has nowhere reached its ceiling. That’s encouraging. It’s nicer to be working on things when you’re 4-1, as opposed to being 2-3, right?

Let’s take a quick look back at this one.

• The defense was absolutely dominant, on all three levels. The Bengals’ offensive line is borderline-trainwreck, but they have quality skill-position guys up and down the offense. The guys up front penetrated throughout the game, the linebackers tackled and flowed to the ball and cornerbacks Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Peters were absolute bullies against a talented receiving crew. That was a great effort.

• The offense was not great, seemingly just out of sync all game. Quarterback Lamar Jackson was pedestrian at best, and easily could have finished with three interceptions today, but he made some nice plays out of nothing, as well, and that’s often the difference in a game like this. Mark Andrews made some nice catches against tight coverage, and has rebounded nicely from his Kansas City performance. Marquise Brown looks to be a different guy this year after the catch, and I still think he has a 160-yard performance right around the corner.

• The offensive line is an up-and-down affair, and there has been some shuffling around up front. The Ravens enjoyed great continuity on the line last season, and featured a potential Hall-of-Fame player (and leader) in Marshal Yanda. It only makes sense that this line will be playing better at the end of this season, right?

• The Ravens offense features Brown, Andrews, Devin Duvernay (who made an early highlight-reel play on an end-around for 42 yards), J.K. Dobbins, Gus Edwards, Mark Ingram and Jackson. These are the people who need the ball in their hands.

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• I read the comments about the Ravens’ offensive play-calling on Twitter, and I say a lot of it myself while watching the games. However, I believe this is a season that is always going to be about adjusting and tinkering. The Ravens have a lot of pieces to work in, and against defenses who are actively taking away the middle of the field. Let’s see how these games are being called in Week 12, going forward. I do think these things are all going to straighten themselves out over the course of the season.

Pernell McPhee was really good today, and it felt like him and Tyus Bowser were all over the place. Bowser didn’t get any of the teams’ seven sacks on the day, but he was everywhere. McPhee did notch a sack, and seemed to be on the Bengals’ side of the line all day.

Patrick Queen is seemingly another one of these explosive game-changing players the Ravens have added to their roster over recent seasons. It wasn’t long ago the Ravens were filled with a bunch of physical, smart players who could beat anybody, but seemed to fall short in all-too-many big moments when they just didn’t have anybody to make a huge play.

This team is stacked with these kinds of guys now, and that’s how you win a game 27-3 when you are very off your game on offense. Enough big plays were made to beat an outmatched team convincingly. This gives the Ravens a high floor on the season if they stay healthy.

DeShon Elliott was fast and physical and aggressive again for the second straight game. He was a bit of concern for me at the start of the year, but he is beginning to play like that guy we’ve all kind-of-thought he could be. If Elliott is indeed the answer, that is a nice block for the team going forward.

dark. Next. Ravens demolish the Bengals: The great, good, less than good

Calais Campbell has joined the ranks of Anquan Boldin, Steve Smith and Mark Ingram as players I wished spent the bulk of their careers with the team. He just seems to be a perfect fit for this team, and his athleticism and power at that size just presents a different challenge for opponents. How do you simulate him? Bring in Shaq and put him in a time machine? Plus, he still looked ticked off when the team was up by 27 points. I wish he was here for his real prime, and I’m thankful to have this version of him as it is.