What We Saw: Week 16

It was a big week for young WRs

Ravens @ Bengals

Final Score: Bengals 41, Ravens 21

Writer: Ryan Radel (@RadelFF on Twitter)

 

In a game with major playoff implications for the AFC North, Joe Burrow put on a show for the home crowd as he lead the Bengals to a crushing victory over their division rivals. The Ravens tried to hang, led by third-string quarterback Josh Johnson due to Covid protocols. It was a close game through the first quarter until the Bengals blew the lid off of the game. The Bengals continued to throw the ball late in the game, even while ahead, in what might’ve been a bit more of a statement to the rest of the AFC North more than anything.

 

Baltimore Ravens

 

Quarterback

 

Josh Johnson: 28/40, 304 yards, 2 TD, INT, Sack | 5 rushes, 10 yards

 

Unfortunately, there is a reason why Josh Johnson has never really “stuck” with an NFL team as a starter. While he can create plays with his mobility, it wasn’t on display today as the Ravens played from behind and had to throw a lot. When you are relying on him to throw the ball 40 times a game, you are likely not going to win. He made some decent throws but looked a little panicked under center, like on this touchdown throw. While it’s a nice throw, in the end, the drop-back and footwork are not great. If it wasn’t for garbage time, these stats would be a lot worse looking.

 

 

Running Back

 

Devonta Freeman: 6 carries, 17 yards, TD | 2 targets, 2 receptions, 3 yards

Latavius Murray: 5 carries. 12 yards | 1 target, 1 reception, 12 yards

 

Since the Ravens were trailing for a large portion of the game, they were not able to get the run game going. Devonta Freeman did manage to slam one home on second-and-short, but otherwise, this group was bottled up and watched the passing game unfold downfield for most of the game.

 

 

Wide Receiver/Tight End

 

Mark Andrews: 10 targets, 8 receptions, 125 yards, TD

James Proche II: 8 targets, 7 receptions, 76 yards

Marquise Brown: 9 targets, 5 receptions, 44 yards

Rashod Bateman: 5 targets, 4 receptions, 26 yards

Tylan Wallace: 2 targets, 1 reception, 18 yards

 

The direct beneficiary of garbage time stats on the day was Mark Andrews. He was clearly the first read on almost every drop back and brought in every catchable target sent his way. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t enough. While this group is talented, the defense knew what was coming for the majority of the game so they were kept in check. The Bengals simply didn’t let the offense get behind them. A majority of throws downfield weren’t very accurate which really hurt the effectiveness of Marquise Brown. Shoutout to rookie Tylan Wallace, making the most of his opportunities on the depleted Ravens offense:

 

 

Cincinnati Bengals

 

Quarterback

 

Joe Burrow: 37/46, 525 yards, 4 TD, 3 Sacks | 2 rushes, 11 yards

 

There isn’t much to say about Joe Burrow that hasn’t already been said about his performance today. His drop-backs looked almost effortless at times as he distributed the ball to his playmakers and let them do the rest. He looked comfortable all game, even while taking three sacks. Even with a massive lead, the Bengals continued to throw the ball and inflate Burrow’s stats. I can’t blame them – Burrow looked incredible as he picked apart the Ravens defense for four quarters. Even as late as 10 minutes left on the clock in the fourth quarter, Burrow was throwing TD scores. When you trot out a defense like this, Burrow is going to pick you apart:

 

 

Running Back

 

Joe Mixon: 18 carries, 65 yards, TD | 6 targets, 6 receptions, 70 yards, TD

Chris Evans: 1 carry, 1 yard | 1 target

Samaje Perine: 2 targets, 2 receptions, 6 yards

 

Whatever the Bengals are doing with Joe Mixon seems to have finally untapped that fantasy potential everyone has been waiting for for so many seasons. Mixon was involved throughout the entire game both through the air and on the ground. He may not have been the most efficient on the ground but he made up for it in the passing game. While the game was still competitive, the Bengals looked to Mixon in the red zone which is incredibly valuable at this point in the season. There is still limited to no threat from any other running backs on this depth chart outside of giving Mixon a breather. Mixon caught a touchdown late in the first quarter before slamming this rushing score home in the second quarter which was a huge momentum boost for the Bengals. The Bengals tried this same play on third down and were stopped, but Mixon motioned to the sideline to run it again and rewarded the decision with a score:

 

 

Wide Receiver/Tight End

 

Tee Higgins: 13 targets, 12 receptions, 194 yards, 2 TD

Ja’Marr Chase: 10 targets, 7 receptions, 125 yards

Tyler Boyd: 5 targets, 3 receptions, 85 yards, TD

C. J. Uzomah: 7 targets, 5 receptions, 36 yards

Drew Sample: 2 targets, 2 receptions, 9 yards

 

It’s been a pleasure watching the chemistry develop in the Bengals passing game this season. Boyd creates a great slot presence to let Chase and Higgins do their damage on the outside. Since the Bengals were throwing nearly the entire game and the quarterback put up over 500 yards, you know someone had to have a career day in this group. Even with 125 yards on 10 targets and seven receptions, it wasn’t Ja’Marr Chase. It wasn’t Tyler Boyd either, with his 68-yard touchdown reception. Don’t let the seven targets that C. J. Uzomah got fool you either. It was clearly Tee Higgins, who looked basically uncoverable against the depleted Ravens secondary. Burrow spread the ball around all day, but it felt like every other play involved Higgins. At one point he basically looked like a man among boys, showing off incredible body control and concentration on this big gainer:

 

 

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

 

 

— Ryan Radel (@RadelFF on Twitter)

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