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Burrow-Uh Oh: Bengals Drop To 0-2 After Losing To Ravens


Finishing atop the AFC North in each of the last two years, the Cincinnati Bengals are looking up at the rest of the division. Sunday, they fell to 0-2 on the season and in the North, losing to the Baltimore Ravens 27-24.

For the second straight week, the offense sputtered. By halftime, the Bengals had just 65 yards of offense and were booed off their home field, outgained by the Ravens 225-63. Their most notable first half play was rookie Charlie Jones’ 81-yard punt return for the team’s first touchdown of the season.

Feeling the urgency, the Bengals’ offense picked it up in the second half and closed the gap, Joe Burrow hitting Tee Higgins with 3:28 left in the fourth to make it a 27-24 Ravens’ lead. But ???

Baltimore controlled the first quarter. Receiving the ball first, they went on a classic 13-play, 75-yard drive that ate up almost eight minutes of game clock. They put the ball in the end zone, RB Gus Edwards barreling ahead to finish what RB Justice Hill couldn’t. The Bengals first two possessions of the game were three-and-outs, the theme of their 24-3 Week One loss last week, before Jones long punt return finally got them on the board to tie things at seven.

Baltimore responded with another lengthy drive, using ten plays to settle for a K Justin Tucker 40-yard field goal. Bengals’ kicker Evan McPherson knotted things up late in the half, connecting from 27 yards out, but the Ravens grabbed the lead on the final play before the break with another Tucker 40-yard boot, going up 13-10.

Cincinnati came out of the second half driving but Burrow was picked by Western PA Native Geno Stone in the end zone, stepping in front of a Tee Higgins pass. He returned it 36 yards before ducking out of bounds, though it appeared he could’ve scored if he had cut back to the field. But the Ravens’ offense finished the job. On the first play following the turnover, Lamar Jackson hit rookie WR Zay Flowers for a 52-yard grab downfield in double-coverage to the Bengals’ ten, setting up a three-yard touchdown by TE Mark Andrews, going up 20-10.

The two sides traded touchdowns throughout the rest of the half. Burrow hit Higgins from three-yards out near the left corner of the end zone to make it 20-17 before Jackson hit WR Nelson Agholor on a nice throw over his right shoulder for a 17-yard score. Cincinnati responded again, Burrow connecting with Higgins for a second time, but they never got the ball back. Jackson scrambled on 3rd and 3 for 12 yards and the Ravens ran out the rest of the clock to seal the game, 27-24.

Jackson finished the day throwing for 237 yards and two touchdowns while rushing 12 times for 54 yards. Burrow threw for 222 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception. Burrow was seen hobbling a bit late in the game, perhaps still feeling his training camp calf injury that sidelined him until Week One.

Baltimore is now 2-0 on the season and in sole possession of the AFC North lead, though the Cleveland Browns don’t play until tomorrow. Cincinnati falls to 0-2. The Ravens play the Indianapolis Colts next week while the Bengals will play the Los Angeles Rams on Monday night.

Notes: Ravens RB Gus Edwards led both teams with 62 yards rushing…Tee Higgins caught eight passes after going catchless on eight targets in Week One…Bengals’ S Dax Hill led both sides with 11 stops…Justin Tucker missed a 59-yard field goal early in the game…the Bengals began 2022 0-2 but finished the year 12-4….WR Odell Beckham Jr. suffered an ankle injury and was ruled out for the rest of the game.

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