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Quick Hits: Bengals Walked-Off Again; Burrow All In On Fourth Down

Samaje Perine had a big night.with 56 yards on seven touches.
Samaje Perine had a big night.with 56 yards on seven touches.

BALTIMORE _ There is probably a stat out there that says if the Bengals aren't the only team to suffer their first three losses of the season all on walk-off field goals, it's a small fraternity.

"I've been playing for five years and every game feels like that," said left end Sam Hubbard, whose defense played brilliantly again in Sunday night's prime time pain of a 19-17 loss to the Ravens.

It left the Bengals 2-3, 0-2 in the AFC North and looking for answers after they still lost even though they didn't let the instant offense of Lamar Jackson reach 20 points.

"We've climbed out of holes before," Hubbard said.

The Bengals defense has yet to allow a second half touchdown this season, so the Ravens resorted to three Justin Tucker field goals, the last one an arrow to the heart from 43 yards.

"I told them every loss has been on the last play and they're going to start going our way," said head coach Zac Taylor. "We know the recipe for our success is to start faster and play with a lead. We have to get going earlier and it's a long season."

Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow was immense in the last drive, bobbing and weaving under the Ravens' stubborn two-deep zone to drive the Bengals 75 yards in 7:44, and tying the game himself at 16 on a one-yard sneak with 1:58 left before Evan McPherson snuck in an extra point for the lead. The longest play of the drive was a 13-yard pass to wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase, who called the deep zone mostly "quarters."

"It had to be that way. They took away all our deep shots," said Burrow of the two drives that took more than a combined 15 minutes for just seven points. "We have to make plays down the stretch to win. All these games are decided in the last half of the fourth quarter.

"It's not ideal to be 0-2 in the division. But it's a long season. Our best football is in front of us."

EMPTY SET: The game was actually decided with 2:45 left in the third quarter and the Ravens leading, 13-10. The Bengals had a first down from the Baltimore 2 after keeping the ball for 15 plays and eight minutes. They tried two passes and two gadgets plays, the last one an incomplete shovel pass.

"We felt good about our packages," said Taylor, who thought they could put the game away there instead of tying it with a field goal. "I thought we'd go up 17-13 right there and our defense is playing real good there keeping them out of the end zone."

Burrow was all in going for it on fourth down.

"I think you have to go for it," Burrow said. "If you get seven points it really changes the game, so I think you have to go for it."

The Bengals had two diverse approaches on the goal line. On the first one, they tried four passes. On the second, after wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase's 13-yard catch got them to the 5, running back Joe Mixon ran for four and Burrow kept it on the ground for the last one.

"That's part of the game plan," Taylor said. "You're preparing against fronts, and you're seeing what teams have done and why they've had success. It wasn't really because teams are running downhill. It was kind of getting stuff on the perimeter. We tried that, and it didn't work for us. And it did on the one play once we got Joe [Mixon] downhill, and then we snuck it in on the next play."

BELL RINGS AGAIN: How well is strong safety Vonn Bell playing? After his first career two-pick game against Miami, Bell turned around this game with a leaping grab of a Lamar Jackson overthrow on the sideline at the Bengals 17 in the middle of the second quarter and Cincy down, 10-0. It set up the Bengals' first touchdown and a 10-10 halftime tie.

"It was in the call," Bell said. "We knew they were going to try to get speed on the safety, and I saw him throw the ball, and I made a play on the ball. So, putting myself in the best position for the team to win, go out there and make plays for one another and just go out there and let it loose."

MIXON'S THE ONE: After getting next to nothing on the game's first four possessions, when he had a yard on two carries, Mixon finished with his most yards since the opener (78 yards on 14 carries) and had a season-high 5.6 yards per carry.

"We were over there toting that thing," Mixon said of the change. "Joey was throwing darts. You know, receivers making plays. When we do that, big plays come."

NO TEE: The Bengals suffered a huge loss when their hottest wide receiver, Tee Higgins (ankle) could only play a few plays early on and sat out the rest of the way. He stayed on the sidelines hoping to get in on a situational snap, but he admitted, "We don't want to make it worse and I'm out for the rest of the season. Nothing major. I'll be back for the rest of the season." Chase, whose longest catch was that last 13-yarder, said he moved around more with Higgins out.

HURST RETURN: It was this close to a storybook night for former Ravens' first-round draft pick Hayden Hurst. His 19-yard touchdown catch got the Bengals on the board.

"I try not to think about stuff too far in the future, but you know when we pulled up in the busses, obviously it was just kind of a weird feeling driving past the Ravens parking lot and coming down here," Hurst said. "Definitely strange, you know, walking out there and being on the opposite sideline. But it was cool seeing all the other guys and all the coaches and stuff like that."

Hurst, who scored three touchdowns during his first two years in the league with Baltimore, had six catches for 53 yards Sunday night. He never had six catches for the Ravens and had 53 yards just once in 28 games.

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