Justin Tucker soars, Lamar Jackson dips in Week 5 victory over Bengals

Ravens, Lamar Jackson. (Photo by Todd Olszewski/Getty Images)
Ravens, Lamar Jackson. (Photo by Todd Olszewski/Getty Images) /

Week 5’s matchup between the Baltimore Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals had every typical characteristic of an AFC North rivalry except for one thing: elite quarterback play.

Both Lamar Jackson and Joe Burrow were noticeably off their game as each quarterback notched one touchdown and one interception; Burrow passed for just 217 yards while Jackson passed for 174 yards.

Despite Jackson’s down day, the Ravens saw many key starters step up and help nab a very crucial win against an AFC North opponent in need of a humbling.

The Bengals embarrassed the Ravens in two meetings in 2021, yet on Sunday night Baltimore clinched a deserved win and a side of sweet, sweet revenge.

Here’s a brief list of the winners and losers from Week 5’s triumphant victory.

Ravens’ Winners

Justin Tucker

G.O.A.T. Enough said. Tucker completed all of his four field goal attempts and his single extra point attempt, including a game-winning 43-yarder as the clock ran out.

Tucker has been automatic for the Ravens for as long as we can remember and Sunday night was no different — he’s got the most reliable leg in the league and he deserves every bit of recognition for the rest of his storied career.

Ronnie Stanley

How about that for a debut? According to Pro Football Focus, Ronnie Stanley played 13 pass block snaps and didn’t allow a single pressure. The Ravens limited his snaps and made sure they didn’t overwork the star left tackle, and all in all, it was a near-perfect first game back for Stanley.

After missing the majority of the last two seasons, Stanley displayed glimpses of his All-Pro form and held his own against a top-performing Bengals defensive line.

It should only get better for Stanley from here.

Ravens’ pass-rush

JPP. Odafe Oweh. Calais Campbell. Josh Bynes. Baltimore’s pass-rush had a field day on Sunday night, and the team saw improved play from a handful of defenders.

Pierre-Paul and Josh Bynes finished with a sack each. Oweh helped hold the edge and Campbell helped win the battle in the trenches. The Ravens took advantage of the Bengals’ sloppy offensive line, and though they only sacked Burrow twice, they played a significant factor in limiting his ability to make his typical deep throws.

A quick shoutout to Patrick Queen, who notched a very key interception in the third quarter.

Ravens’ Losers

Lamar Jackson

This was a tough name to write. Lamar Jackson has been one of the shining stars of the Ravens up until Week 5 and has not-so-quietly put together an MVP-caliber season.

On Sunday, Jackson’s star presence dimmed and while he didn’t play a terrible game, he didn’t make the most of his opportunities either.

Jackson started the game strong and even made a little bit of history: in the second quarter, Jackson completed a 12-yard run that made him the sixth quarterback in NFL history to reach 4,000 career rushing yards. At 63 games, Jackson is the fastest ever to reach that mark.

Then, Jackson threw an interception, and the Ravens’ offense took a downturn. (This is Lamar Jackson’s third straight game with an interception, the longest streak of his career.)

In the third quarter, Jackson couldn’t connect with Devin Duvernay to gain a fresh set of downs and also overthrew an easy would-be touchdown pass to Tylan Wallace.

We should add that Jackson did orchestrate the final 50-yard drive to set up Tucker’s game-winning field goal, yet Jackson just couldn’t deliver on a few potentially game-changing plays. This performance will hurt his MVP odds for sure.

Marcus Williams

Marcus Williams reportedly suffered a dislocated wrist on Sunday and will miss an extended amount of time, dealing a painful blow to the secondary.

Most Improved

Pass defense! The exclamation is warranted because this is exciting (and relieving) news!

Even with Marcus WIlliams’ injury, the Ravens held the Bengals’ receivers to ZERO completions over 14 air yards. Let that sink in.

Ever since their mega-collapse against the Dolphins, the pass defense has stepped up, limiting Bills’ Josh Allen to 213 yards last week and Joe Burrow to 217 yards this week. No Bengals wide receiver finished the game with more than 50 yards, although the caveat is that Tee Higgins sat out due to an ankle injury.

With Marcus Peters and Marlon Humphrey healthy in the backfield, the Ravens secondary is on its way to becoming a consistent and productive unit, and it seems at least in these past two weeks they’ve learned from their past mistakes.

Next. A.J. Klein signing is proof the Ravens don’t like their LB situation. dark

Let’s hope those egregious lapses in coverage are a thing of the past now. Onward to Week 6!