Ravens Rivals: Takeaways around the AFC North after week five
Here we discuss takeaways from the AFC North rivals, the Cincinnati Bengals, Cleveland Browns, and Pittsburgh Steelers, after five weeks of play.
After the Baltimore Ravens 27-3 win over the Cincinnati Bengals, here are some takeaways from around the AFC North division.
Cincinnati Bengals: Humbling experience
I hope Joe Burrow has had the chance to visit the great city of Baltimore before, because if not he might be haunted by his time at M&T Bank Stadium on Sunday. Burrow came into the game coming off three straight 300+ yard passing performances. The Ravens defense noted that and followed up with their best performance of the season so far.
The Ravens sacked Burrow seven times, including five by defensive backs – Marlon Humphrey, Marcus Peters, Jimmy Smith, DeShon Elliott, and Chuck Clark all got in on the action. Peters was able to also get his second interception of the year and Humphrey stripped a ball from Bengals wide receiver Mike Thomas that Patrick Queen picked up and returned for a Ravens touchdown.
Burrow finished the day 19-30, throwing for 183 yards and 0 touchdowns with one interception. The Bengals rushing attack couldn’t repeat the performance they had last week in their win over the Jaguars, with leading rusher Joe Mixon only rushing for 59 yards on 24 carries. Perhaps an even bigger red-flag is the fact that A.J. Green only had one target the whole game, with no catches. Green has arguably been the best receiver in Bengals history, but if low production games like this continue, Cincinnati might want to explore a trade and try to get something back for the 32-year-old veteran.
As frustrating as it was for the Bengals on Sunday, this type of performance was bound to happen at some point. The Bengals have exceeded expectations so far this year and have played much better than their 2-14 campaign last year. Cincinnati is still a very young team with a rookie quarterback, and with a rookie quarterback comes growing pains. Especially against a team with as many pro-bowlers as the Ravens have.
The Bengals will try to avenge their loss this upcoming Sunday in Indianapolis against the Colts. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.