Rapid Reaction: Baltimore Ravens
November, 10, 2013
By Jamison Hensley | ESPN.com
BALTIMORE -- A few thoughts on the Baltimore Ravens' 20-17 overtime win over the Cincinnati Bengals.
What it means: Justin Tucker's 46-yard field goal with 5:27 left in overtime allowed the Ravens to save their season. Baltimore (4-5) ended its three-game losing streak by knocking off the AFC North-leading Bengals (6-4), edging closer in the standings and moving into a second-place tie with the Cleveland Browns. It marked the fourth straight time that the Ravens have beaten the Bengals in Baltimore. The Ravens made it interesting at the end after failing to hold a 17-point lead and letting the game go to overtime.
Momentum swing: After allowing a 51-yard Hail Mary touchdown to tie the game at the end of regulation, the Ravens' defense stopped the Bengals on fourth down when cornerback Corey Graham tackled Bengals running back Giovani Bernard behind the line. Joe Flacco completed passes to Ray Rice and Ed Dickson to set up the game-winning field goal in overtime.
Stock watch: Rising: James Ihedigbo. The Ravens safety didn't have an interception in 77 career games, but he came up big Sunday by picking off Andy Dalton twice. His first one featured a 37-yard return that set up the Ravens' second touchdown. His second one stopped a Bengals drive in Baltimore territory late in the fourth quarter. But his tip on the last play of regulation fell into the hands of A.J. Green for the tying touchdown.
Mixed results for Flacco: It was a hit-or-miss type of game for Flacco. In the red zone, he threw two touchdowns, scrambling to buy time on the first one and hitting Torrey Smith on a slant for the second. Outside of the 20-yard line? Flacco was often off the mark. He finished with 140 yards passing and three turnovers (two interceptions and one fumble).
Rare fast start: Flacco's 1-yard touchdown pass to Dallas Clark was the Ravens' first touchdown in the first quarter since the season opener. The Ravens, who had scored 16 points in the first quarter in the first eight games, jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the opening period. This also represented Baltimore's first lead at any point in a game since Oct. 6 in Miami.
What's next: The Ravens go back on the road for the third time in four games, when they play at the Chicago Bears.