Bengals Joe Burrow Sidelined as Ravens Clinch 34-20 Victory

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Joe Burrow leaving the field due to injury in the Bengals vs. Ravens game

In a showdown between two AFC North powerhouses, the Baltimore Ravens secured a pivotal victory, defeating the Cincinnati Bengals 34-20 at M&T Bank Stadium on Thursday. While it wasn’t the offensive spectacle many had anticipated, with a total of nine punts and a missed field goal by Bengals kicker Evan McPherson, the game had its fair share of drama.

One of the most significant plot twists of the night was the injury to Cincinnati’s star quarterback, Joe Burrow. Surprisingly, Burrow was not listed on the Bengals’ injury report leading up to the game, despite being spotted wearing a brace or sleeve on his right wrist the day before.

Burrow initially appeared fine in the early stages of the game, leading Cincinnati’s opening drives. However, concern arose after he threw a touchdown pass to Joe Mixon in the second quarter and was seen clutching his wrist in pain. He was promptly ushered into the blue medical tent and subsequently ruled out for the remainder of the game.

Cincinnati head coach Zac Taylor commented on the injury, saying, “It looked like he sprained his wrist. He fell on it early in the game and then felt it on the touchdown pass.” As of now, the severity of the injury and Burrow’s return date remain uncertain. The Bengals turned to undrafted quarterback Jake Browning, who had only seen action in the NFL once before, to replace Burrow.

Despite the challenges, the Ravens continued their dominance in the fiercely competitive AFC North with their eighth win of the season. The game began perfectly for Baltimore, with running back Gus Edwards scoring a short rushing touchdown on their opening drive. However, the Ravens also suffered a setback when tight end Mark Andrews sustained an ankle injury on the opening drive, ruling him out for the season, according to head coach John Harbaugh.

The Bengals managed to put three points on the board with a field goal in the next possession, but a period of offensive stagnation for both teams resulted in a string of punts. Joe Mixon’s touchdown briefly broke the deadlock, but the Ravens surged ahead again as star quarterback Lamar Jackson, who finished the night with two passing touchdowns and 54 rushing yards, connected with wide receiver Nelson Agholor for a 37-yard touchdown.

Facing the relentless Baltimore pass rush, which led the league with 44 sacks, Cincinnati’s offense struggled to gain ground. Baltimore’s Rashod Bateman added another touchdown, and the teams entered halftime with the Ravens leading 21-10.

While the Bengals scored first in the second half with another McPherson field goal, they never posed a serious threat to the Ravens. Baltimore’s kicker, Justin Tucker, responded with two field goals of his own in the third quarter, and Gus Edwards added his second touchdown late in the fourth. Browning concluded the game on a positive note, throwing his first NFL touchdown pass to Ja’Marr Chase with just over a minute remaining in the matchup.

Despite battling an ankle injury at times, Jackson finished the game with 16 completions on 26 attempts for 264 yards. With Andrews sidelined, Odell Beckham Jr. became Jackson’s primary target and had his first game with over 100 receiving yards since the 2021 NFC Championship game. However, even he fell victim to injury, missing the final minutes of the game due to a shoulder injury.

Looking ahead, the Ravens are set to face the Los Angeles Chargers, while the Bengals, now at 5-5 and last in the AFC North, will prepare for a crucial matchup against divisional rivals, the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The Baltimore Ravens emerged victorious over the Cincinnati Bengals in a game marked by injuries and a resilient Ravens defense. The injury to Joe Burrow adds uncertainty to Cincinnati’s season, while the Ravens solidify their position atop the AFC North.

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