Winner: Defensive Coordinator Mike Macdonald
It took the Bengals and QB Joe Burrow less than a minute after they lost on Sunday to start bringing excuses to the table for their 0-2 record.
Burrow said he re-injured his calf, which can be real, and he might have played not at his best level after having missed ample training time in the summer, but the Ravens defense ate the Bengals alive and gave them no chance.
Baltimore featured many backups across the lineup, including a reserve safety in Geno Stone (for Marcus Williams) while also having to do without CB Marlon Humphrey. They lost Odafe Oweh through the game as he suffered an injury and couldn't be on the field for most of the plays. On and on it goes...
And still. Stone picked Burrow and returned that for 36 yards. Rock Ya-Sin broke a pass to Ja'Marr Chase that was about to be called for a touchdown, which limited Cincy to a field goal on that drive.
The Ravens limited the Bengals to 14 yards (no typo) in the first half. Fourteen, freaking, yards. On offense. Through 30 minutes of play. From another perspective, the Cincinnati Bengals logged 17 first-half plays.
The defense racked up 53 tackles combined, sacked Burrow once (s/o Jadeveon Clowney!), and hit the Bengals QB five times throughout Sunday's outing.
One can only dream about what might happen as the season grows older and bodies get recovered and back to the field. Color me excited.