The Baltimore Sun sports staff analyzes the Ravens' triumphant 34-20 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals at M&T Bank Stadium in Thursday night's Week 11 clash. The game's dynamics shifted dramatically when Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow suffered a right wrist injury and was unable to continue. Despite being down 10-7 when Burrow exited, the Ravens relied on their determined defense and the prowess of quarterback Lamar Jackson to secure the win. Jackson delivered an outstanding performance, displaying resilience even in the absence of injured tight end Mark Andrews. The Bengals, on the other hand, struggled to make offensive gains following Burrow's departure. The contest was enveloped with suspense, featuring a potential injury scare for Jackson and contentious calls made by officials. Nevertheless, the Ravens emerged victorious, desperately attaining control of the AFC North. They can now take advantage of a recovery period before their next game.
In terms of overall performance, the Ravens played well in both offensive and defensive aspects, successfully clinching the much-needed triumph. However, their ability to counter the running game remained a challenge. The injuries suffered by both Andrews and Jackson's ankle issues demand careful observation moving forward. This win carries profound significance for the Ravens, particularly after their disappointing loss to the Browns. It is worth noting that the outcome of the game could have been altered had Burrow not sustained an injury. Yet the Ravens capitalized on this fortunate turn of events and effectively executed their strategy against a backup quarterback. With this victory, the Ravens maintain their leading position in the AFC North and inch closer to securing a playoff spot, while the Bengals continue to struggle within the division.The game between the Ravens and their rivals has been marked by intense physicality ever since Mark Andrews sustained an injury on the opening drive. Lamar Jackson and Joe Burrow have also faced injuries of their own, resulting in concerns among fans. While Jackson has managed to recover from an ankle injury, Burrow remains unable to return due to a wrist injury affecting his ability to grip the ball. This setback potentially poses a threat to the Bengals' chances of clinching a playoff spot. The extent of the injuries sustained by Andrews, Burrow, and Cam Taylor-Britt is yet to be determined. Both teams now have some time off to rest and recuperate as they tackle a break in their schedule. The Ravens, in particular, are greatly concerned about the condition of Jackson and Andrews, recognizing that their performance holds the key to a successful postseason run.
Despite holding a substantial lead during the second half, it is important not to overrate the Ravens' performance, as they were up against a Bengals team missing their star quarterback and wide receiver. Nevertheless, securing their division lead and potentially claiming the top seed and a first-round bye in the AFC should be viewed as a positive outcome. Each time Jackson took a hit, the hopes of the Baltimore faithful hung in the balance. Undoubtedly, the Ravens' defense stands as their greatest asset and is poised to carry them through the playoffs.