Short-handed Baltimore Ravens couldn’t contain Joe Burrow and the hot Cincinnati Bengals squad who finishes the regular season with a 27-16 victory in Week 18 and an excellent eight straight wins.
Baltimore was resting many starters ahead of the NFL playoffs, yet this game still felt like quite a showdown. An altercation broke out on the sideline between players while two Ravens rookies had a heated altercation of their own in the open field.
To top it off, Cincinnati put on a show for their home crowd celebrating each amazing play in a choreographed fashion as they ended up controlling the whole game. However, it was clear that even short-handed and undermanned the Ravens weren’t going to let this one go easily but fell just short at the very end.
A Rematch Next Week
Although the Baltimore Ravens had the option to play their starters against the Cincinnati Bengals this past Sunday, Head Coach John Harbaugh ultimately chose not to take that risk. Marlon Humphrey commented that it felt like a scrimmage, as the all-important wildcard game is scheduled for next week.
“I don’t have any feelings about it,” Harbaugh said when asked about playing the Bengals again. “There are no feelings. There is just preparation and getting ready to go compete.”
This will mark a record third time that these two rivals have faced off in one season, and also the first time they’ve met in playoffs. Everyone is eagerly anticipating what is sure to be an exciting matchup, with both teams hoping to capitalize on earned advances and gain bragging rights of AFC North supremacy.
Bengals open as 5.5-point favorites as per FanDuel sportsbook.
Will Lamar Play?
The Baltimore Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals will convene yet again in the Wild Card round of the NFL playoffs after two hard-fought regular season matchups. However, there is one rather large question that must be answered before kick-off- just how healthy is Lamar Jackson? The star quarterback has not played or practiced since December 4th due to a PCL sprain, leaving his game status in doubt.
Tyler Huntley, who was listed as questionable last week, seems likely to suit up for this game despite his injury, raising questions on whether he will be starting or just acting in a backup role for Jackson. It should certainly be an intriguing matchup between these two AFC North rivals at Paycor Stadium and it will all hinge on the health of their signal caller.