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Bengals Drop Heartbreaker in Baltimore on Walk-Off Field Goal

HB Joe Mixon
HB Joe Mixon

BALTIMORE -- Heartbreak at M&T Bank Stadium.

Ravens future Hall-of-Famer Justin Tucker extended his unbelievable streak of field goals in the last minute of regulation to 17 with a 43-yarder at the gun to beat the Bengals, 19-17 on Sunday Night Football.

On a night the Bengals gave up 100 yards rushing for the first time this season (155), Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson expertly pulled the ball out of the zone read and rambled for 19 yards as the Ravens took advantage of a Bengals' 12-men on the field highlight the final drive.

Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow, gunning for his second straight fourth quarter comeback, beat the blitz with a 13-yard back-shoulder throw to wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase on third down to put the ball at the Ravens 5, and he and running back Joe Mixon did the rest. When Burrow snuck it in from the 1 and Evan McPherson hit the extra point thanks to holder Kevin Huber grabbing a high snap, the Bengals took the 17-16 lead with 1:58 left.

Burrow went a patient 24 of 35 for 217 yards with a touchdown and a pick for an 82.7 passer rating underneath Baltimore's relentless two deep zone, with the centerpiece that last exhausting drive of 7:44 on 13 plays for 75 yards in which the longest play was that ball to Chase. Jackson got out passed 15 of His teammates pretty much limited Jackson, holding him to 58 yards rushing on 12 carries and completing 19 of 32

passes for just 174 yards .

The Bengals went unconventional late in the third quarter when they had a second down from Ravens' 2, trailing, 13-10. They tried their version of the 'Philly Special' but in this I-95 corridor it was only good for Baltimore. Burrow was covered in the end zone and wide receiver Tyler Boyd got blown up on a 13-yard sack by cornerback Marcus Peters.

Then, when Burrow connected with Chase to get it back to the 2, head coach Zac Taylor eschewed the tying field goal and tried another gadget play on fourth down. But Burrow's shovel pass to wide receiver Stanley Morgan went through the middle the Ravens defensive line and fell incomplete.

It was tough to come up empty after 15 plays and 73 yards. The drive featured a terrific third-down catch-and-miss by running back Samaje Perine (a huge seven-touch, 56-yard night) and pass interference penalties drawn by Chase and tight end Hayden Hurst.

But it was the Ravens who ended up settling for an easy field goal 8:03 later with about nine minutes left in the game after grinding for Tucker's 25-yard field goal to take a 16-10 lead. Ravens tight end Mark Andrews, quiet until that drive, came up with three big catches for 48 of his 89 yards.

A Bengals defense that has yet to give up a touchdown in the second half, held on first-and-10 from their 12 when linebacker Germaine Pratt batted down a pass in first down and right end Trey Hendrickson dragged down Jackson for four yards on second down. When the Ravens took a delay of game penalty on fourth and inches, they settled for Tucker.

The Ravens grabbed a 13-10 lead early in the third quarter on Burrow's first interception since the opener. His old LSU teammate and NFL nemesis, linebacker Patrick Queen, dropped into a zone over the middle surrounding Chase and when Burrow tried to throw through it, Queen made a leaping catch at the Bengals 46.

But strong safety Vonn Bell, having another big night, made a big tackle to force Tucker's 58-yard field goal, his longest of the season.

With the Ravens threatening to go up 17-0 midway through the second quarter, Bell, off a two-pick Thursday night, turned around this Sunday night game when Jackson overthrew his man on the sidelines and Bell snagged it at the Bengals 17.

That set up the Bengals' first offensive life of the night. Bengals tight end Hayden Hurst waved to the crowd after his 19-yard touchdown catch over the middle cut the lead to 10-7 with 4:54 left in the first half (finishing it off running over safety Marcus Williams). At that point wide receivers Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd didn't have a target and the big play on the drive was Mike D. Thomas' 33-yard-catch-and-run.

Higgins, limited during the week with an ankle issue, started but left the game in the second quarter.

Mixon, entering the drive midway through the second quarter with no yards, came alive against the Ravens' inviting zone and ripped off runs of 11 and 12 yards. In fact, until that scoring drive the Bengals had basically been three-and-out. On a chilly night in Maryland, the offense had been crabs in ice water.

But the defense, riding Bell's play of the half, got the ball back with the help of linebacker Germaine Pratt's monstrous sack of Jackson in space, setting up Burrow for a two-minute drill from his own 16 and he delivered in hurry-up fashion with 62 yards on 11 plays that gave them McPherson's tying 40-yard field goal with eight seconds left in the half at 10-10.

Perine chipped in with his obligatory yeoman two-minute effort and had four touches for 41 yards. Throw in Boyd's first catch with 23 seconds left on an 18-yarder under the zone and they had to call their last timeout at the Baltimore 25.

That's because they had to use one when left tackle Jonah Williams went down with a knee injury (he came back in the second half) and, without the towering Higgins, Burrow couldn't connect with Thomas working on Peters.

Like the score at the half, Burrow (12 of 18, 139 yards) and Jackson (11 of 21 for 95 yards) were a draw.