The Ravens dumped 34 points on the collective Bengals forehead last TNF when Baltimore went on to defeat Cincinnati 34-20 on their way to taking sole possession of the no. 1 seed in the AFC following Kansas City's loss on Monday.
The offense thrived, but it was the defense who leveled up against a Bengals squad that didn't have a clue about what was going on the field and could not score many points until late in the game, with the match already lost and well into garbage time.
According to NBC Sports analyst Peter King, the veteran duo of Ravens' edge rushers made of Jadeveon Clowney and Kyle Van Noy, both signed off the streets ahead of the 2023 season, deserved to be named co-Defensive Players of Week 11.
"DPOW: Jadeveon Clowney and Kyle Van Noy - Signed Aug. 18 and Sept. 27, respectively, to buttress a front seven that was already good, Clowney and Van Noy each had a sack in Baltimore’s 34-20 win over the Bengals Thursday night—and now have combined for 12.5 of the Ravens’ league-high 42 sacks. Clowney and Van Noy, at a combined cap number of $3.8 million, account for 1.7 percent of Baltimore’s cap this year, and they have 6.5 and six sacks respectively. That’s some great value for the Ravens."- Peter King, NBC Sports
As King pointed out in his Monday column, both KVN and Clowney earned a sack last Thursday in the victory over Cincy. The two of them have combined for 12.5 sacks, but most impressively they have done so after signing two hyper-cheap deals earlier this season.
The Ravens, somehow, were able to sign Clowney and Van Noy right before and already into the regular season, respectively, for a combined $3.8 million. That is, according to King's research, a meager 1.7 percent of Baltimore's cap for the 2023 season!
Baltimore leads the NFL in sacks with 44 through Week 11 with the Bills a distant second (39) and Kansas City (36) being the only other franchise with more than 35 sacks through the season to date.
As ridiculous as it sounds, Clowney and Van Noy's combined 12.5 sacks are nearly as many as the Chicago Bears (15) have racked up as a team.
Add a lot of other contributors currently on the Ravens defensive unit (as well as their hyper-boosted offense guided by new OC Todd Monken and QB Lamar Jackson), and you get an idea of why Baltimore is the no. seed in the AFC entering Week 12.