Bengals survive and advance to play Bills, defeat Ravens 24-17
It took the Bengals every second of their opening-round playoff game to remove all doubt, but they were able to defeat the Ravens 24-17 and advance to the divisional round.
Cincinnati took a 24-17 lead in the fourth quarter when defensive end Sam Hubbard recovered quarterback Tyler Huntley’s fumble on the goal line and returned it 98 yards for a touchdown. Huntley tried to go over the top of the defense but linebacker Logan Wilson jarred the ball loose and right into Hubbard’s waiting arms. While tight end Mark Andrews gave chase, he couldn’t catch up to Hubbard.
Still, the Ravens had their opportunities late, mainly because the Bengals could not do much of anything on offense.
Baltimore started its final drive with the ball at the Cincinnati 46 with 3:14 left in the contest. But down by seven and with two timeouts, the Ravens showed a curious lack of urgency as the offense continued to huddle even as the clock ticked down.
The Ravens had first-and-10 at the Cincinnati 17 with 34 seconds on the clock. But an incomplete pass and holding penalty pushed Baltimore back to second-and-20 with 22 seconds left.
After a pair of incomplete passes to Mark Andrews, quarterback Tyler Huntley tried a Hail Mary to the left side of the field as time expired. While it looked like James Proche got a couple of hands on the ball, it fell in the end zone and the Bengals punched their ticket to play the Bills next weekend.
Filling in for the injured Lamar Jackson, Huntley performed admirably in his first postseason start. He completed 17-of-29 passes for 226 yards with a pair of touchdowns and an interception while also rushing for 54 yards. Baltimore put up 364 yards of offense, going 3-of-11 on third down and accumulating 23 first downs.
While Cincinnati finished 7-of-13 on third down, the club had just 234 total yards and averaged just 4.3 yards per play. Quarterback Joe Burrow finished 23-of-32 for 209 yards with a touchdown. Burrow also had a QB sneak for a touchdown in the third quarter.
Ja’Marr Chase caught nine passes for 85 yards with a 7-yard touchdown in the first quarter.
Already playing without their starting right tackle and right guard, the Bengals lost their left tackle, Jonah Williams, to a knee injury late in the first half and he was ruled out.
That could’ve been a factor for why Cincinnati’s offense got next to nothing after Burrow scored in the third quarter, punting three times.
Fortunately for anyone pulling for the Bengals, Hubbard came through with the play of the night.
With the win, the Bengals will play the Bills next Sunday at 3:30 p.m. ET on CBS.