The Ravens quickly rallied and regained control to beat Cincinnati 34-20 in a key AFC North battle at M&T Bank Stadium. Baltimore (8-3) now has a sizable lead in the division, as the Bengals fall to 5-5 with seven games left.
Cincinnati gave up two touchdowns over the final three minutes of the first half to allow the Ravens to carry an 11-point advantage into the locker room, and although backup Jake Browning led Cincinnati into the redzone on the first drive of the second half, that was as good as it got.
The Bengals settled for a field goal and went three-and-out on three straight possessions after that, while the Ravens tacked on a pair of Justin Tucker field goals in the third quarter. Gus Edwards put the game away with his second touchdown run of the night with 4:49 left. Browning threw his first NFL touchdown, to Ja’Marr Chase, with less than two minutes left to make the score a little less lopsided but Baltimore dominated.
The Bengals had gotten off to a slow start defensively, as their struggles from Sunday’s loss to Houston carried right into Thursday night with missed tackles and allowed explosives. Baltimore took advantage, driving 75 yards on the opening possession to get on the board with a Gus Edwards touchdown run.
Cincinnati responded with a field goal drive, and the defense settled down to force a pair of three-and-outs and a third straight punt, but the Bengals missed out on a chance for points when Evan McPherson sent a 53-yard field goal wide left on the first play of the second quarter.
Burrow’s injury happened the next drive, seemingly on the play before the touchdown pass to Mixon when a hit by Jadeveon Clowney caused him to fall onto his right hand. After the scoring play, Burrow walked off in noticeable pain and then headed to the medical tent before eventually attempting to toss the football only to have the ball slip out of his hand.
Visibly frustrated, Burrow crouched to the ground after the first attempt and a second failed one sent him to the locker room for X-rays. He was declared out by the start of the second half, but meanwhile, the Ravens capitalized on the opportunity to deal additional blows on the scoreboard.
Lamar Jackson connected with Odell Beckham Jr. for a 29-yard gain on the next drive and that set up Nelson Agholor’s 37-yard touchdown reception, which gave Baltimore a 14-10 lead with 2:28 left in the second quarter.
Browning, who has played four official NFL snaps, looked like he was ready to step up on his first drive when he scrambled for a 12-yard gain his first play, then avoided a sack and found Trenton Irwin for 10 yards on third-and-3. Unfortunately, the catch was reviewed and overturned because Irwin appeared to lose control of the ball as he rolled over on it making the play.
That led to McPherson’s missed field goal, and the Ravens had the help of two questionable defensive pass interference calls as they extended their lead the next possession on Rashod Bateman’s 10-yard touchdown catch for the 21-10 cushion with 28 seconds left in the half.
Cincinnati also lost Cam Taylor-Britt for the entire second half due to a quad injury suffered right before halftime.
Burrow was 11-of-17 passing for 101 yards and one touchdown before leaving the game. Browning completed 8 of 14 passes for 68 yards and one score and added 40 yards rushing on four carries. Mixon, who has scored touchdowns in four straight games, carried the ball 16 times for 69 yards and added five catches for 31 yards and a touchdown.
The Bengals got five catches combined out of Chase and Tyler Boyd with Tee Higgins out, and the accounted for just 34 yards receiving. Cincinnati now has a 10-day layoff to prepare for the next game Nov. 26 against Pittsburgh.
Sunday, Nov. 26
Steelers at Bengals, 1 p.m., CBS, 700, 1530, 102.7, 104.7