The Ravens obliterated the Bengals to the tune of a 49-13 victory.
Baltimore benefitted from a pair of defensive touchdowns, and they were flawless on offense with Lamar Jackson in the game, scoring five touchdowns on six drives (the other drive was the end of the first half). The Ravens outgained the Bengals through the air, but the Bengals utilized 17 extra rushes to be the second team to outgain the Ravens on the ground.
Things we learned this week:
Marcus Peters is a gamechanger in man-to-man.
The oft-maligned cornerback had his second pick-six in three games with the Ravens. Peters intercepted Ryan Finley in the red zone and scampered 89 yards for a touchdown. Peters is far from the best cornerback on the team, but he has made a significant impact with his ball-hawking skills in just a month in the organization.
The Ravens rush defense can be exploited.
Joe Mixon pounded the rock 30 times, gaining 112 yards. While the average yards-per-carry was poor, the Bengals were still able to control the clock and string together six separate 10-play drives despite only scoring on three of them.
Things we learned a week ago:
The Ravens are the perfect matchup for the Patriots.
The Patriots had a bye week in Week 10, so they did not have an opportunity to clean up the mistakes they made against the Ravens. The Patriots will suit up against the Eagles next week, a more straight-forward task than the one posed by the Ravens.
The Patriots are not frauds.
Similar to the above comment, the Patriots have not had another game since the Ravens game. In my eyes, they are the best team in football, and they will likely be playing in a 10th Super Bowl in 19 seasons in a couple of months.
Lamar Jackson is a legit MVP candidate.
Yes. Jackson had a perfect passer rating in the win over the Bengals, his second of the season. Jackson joined 2007 Ben Roethlisberger as the only quarterbacks to register a pair of perfect passer rating games in the same season. Yes, it was only the Bengals, but Jackson was electric with his arm and with his legs. Jackson can be safely penciled into the top three of the MVP race alongside Russell Wilson and Deshaun Watson.
The Ravens are for real … at least in the eyes of other people.
The Bengals do not help the case of the Ravens, but the Ravens quieted any idea of a letdown as they scored touchdowns on every drive that Lamar Jackson was on the field
Weird stats can go against the Patriots too.
The formerly 8-0 Patriots have fairly decent odds of going to the Super Bowl based solely on history. Of the last 14 teams to start 8-0, six went to the Super Bowl, and a pair won the Super Bowl (2006 Colts, 2009 Saints).
A look to next week:
The 7-2 Ravens travel back home to face the 6-3 Texans in what seems to be one of the best games of the entire season as MVP candidates duel in Lamar Jackson and Deshaun Watson
The 0-9 Bengals travel to Oakland to play the 5-4 Raiders. Ryan Finley will likely get a second consecutive start as the Bengals aim to see if he is worth their future.
A look into the playoff picture:
The 7-2 Ravens are one game behind the Patriots for the first-seed in the AFC. Similarly, they are one game ahead of the No. 3-seed Texans. In the division, they are two games up on the Steelers, and they have the advantage moving forward as they host the second matchup, and they currently hold the tiebreaker due to a Week 5 win.
The 0-9 Bengals have been the first team to be removed from division consideration as they lie seven games back with seven to play, and the Ravens hold the tiebreaker due to sweeping the series. The Bengals have not yet been eliminated from the playoff picture, but a loss to the Raiders plus a Bills win would make a trip to the playoffs impossible due to tiebreakers. The Bengals currently are the front-runners for the first overall pick in the 2020 Draft where they would likely draft a quarterback to begin a new era with.