Ravens @ Bengals
Final Score: Ravens 27, Bengals 24
Writer: Brett Ford (@FadeThatMan on Twitter)
The Baltimore Ravens locked up a huge division win, defeating the AFC North rival Cincinnati Bengals 27-24 on Sunday afternoon at Paycor Stadium. From a fantasy standpoint, managers were thrilled with a huge bounce-back game for Tee Higgins and Joe Burrow, while Ja’Marr Chase left something to be desired for the second straight week. Lamar Jackson stepped up with J.K. Dobbins out for the year while Gus Edwards and Justice Hill split time in the Ravens’ backfield. Mark Andrews made his presence known with a touchdown catch in his season debut while Nelson Agholor led the Baltimore receiving corps with a big day.
Let’s dig in.
- Nelson Agholor – Led the Ravens’ receiving corps in catches, yards and scored a touchdown
- Tee Higgins – Bounced back in a big way with a two-touchdown performance after being blanked in Week 1
- Mark Andrews – Resumed his role of a red zone monster with a touchdown catch
- Odell Beckham Jr. – Was active early with three first-half catches, but left the game with an injury
- Ja’Marr Chase– Was held under 40 yards receiving for the second-consecutive week
Lamar Jackson: 24/33, 237 yards, 2 TDs | 12 carries, 54 yards
Lamar was outstanding, looking as if he had matured as a passer over the offseason. He stood in the pocket and delivered strikes. When he was forced to get out on the perimeter and make a play with his feet, he did that well, too. He threw for two touchdowns and rushed for more than 50 yards, including several clutch moments down the stretch to keep the Ravens in the lead. Though he isn’t quite as exciting and dynamic from a fantasy standpoint as he has been in the past, he has been much more effective and efficient as a passer and a better real life quarterback so far this season.
Gus Edwards: 10 carries, 62 yards, TD
The “Gus Bus” was back in service in week two, rushing for a team-high 62 yards on just 10 carries. He earned the Ravens’ goal line rushing touchdown, punching the ball in from the one yard line. Hill had just been stuffed from the one on the previous play, but Edwards powered through contact and into the end zone for the score. His only flaw — he was a non-factor in the passing game.
That made more sense than last week's red zone split. Gus Edwards outweighs Justice Hill by 38 pounds.pic.twitter.com/7v2CtngFEf
— Scott Spratt (@Scott_Spratt) September 17, 2023
Justice Hill: 12 carries, 54 yards | 3 targets, 3 receptions, 12 yards
Hill may be the Baltimore running back to own moving forward, despite Edwards’ success. Though this is a true committee, Hill remains much more involved in the passing game and had the first shot at a goal-line carry (after two goal line touchdowns last week).
- Hill got the first crack at a goal line carry on the Ravens’ first drive, but was stuffed for no gain from the one-yard line. Edwards pushed it in the end zone on the next play.
Wide Receiver/Tight End
Odell Beckham Jr.: 4 targets, 3 receptions, 29 yards
OBJ was targeted four times in the early going, but left the game in the second quarter with an apparent ankle injury. He came back into the game to finish out the first half but was ruled out during halftime. It remains to be seen if Beckham can stay healthy long enough to become a regular contributor in this offense.
Nelson Agholor: 6 targets, 5 receptions, 63 yards, TD
Perhaps the biggest beneficiary of Beckham’s second half absence was Agholor, who pulled down a late touchdown catch to seal the victory for Baltimore. Agholor was consistent, catching five of six balls thrown his way for a team-high 63 yards. Agholor made an outstanding over-the-shoulder catch for a touchdown, tracking the ball and adjusting to make the play.
An all-around awesome play.
Offensive line holds up vs. blitz
Nelson Agholor wins his 1-on-1
Lamar Jackson throws him open
— Jonas Shaffer (@jonas_shaffer) September 17, 2023
Zay Flowers: 1 carry, 6 yards | 5 targets, 4 receptions, 62 yards
Flowers wasn’t as heavily involved in Week 2, but still managed to get his looks. Most of his yardage came on a 52-yard deep ball in the third quarter. The Ravens also gave Flowers a rushing attempt, though it netted just six yards. The usage is encouraging for fantasy managers who drafted Flowers, showing that the Ravens are dedicated to getting their rookie playmaker the ball in space.
- Immediately after Flowers’ big catch, Todd Monken drew up back-to-back looks designed specifically for the rookie speedster, but neither found the end zone.
Mark Andrews: 8 targets, 5 receptions, 45 yards, TD
Andrews debuted on Sunday after missing Week 1 to nurse an injury. He immediately showed out in his first action of the year, leading the team with eight targets and pulling in five catches for 45 yards. A short yardage touchdown catch was a difference maker for his fantasy managers this weekend.
Rashod Bateman: 3 targets, 3 receptions, 18 yards
Isaiah Likely: 1 target, 1 receptions, 8 yards
Devin Duvernay: 3 carries, 15 yards | 3 targets
Joe Burrow: 27/41, 222 yards, 2 TDS, INT | 1 carry, 5 yards
Burrow was better, but there’s literally no way he could have been worse than his Week 1 performance. Burrow distributed the ball to six different receivers, with Higgins leading the way. The Bengals’ offensive line held up relatively well, surrendering only one sack against a stout Ravens front seven. Burrow scrambled just once, gaining five yards on the play and stood in the pocket to deliver the ball under duress on just a few occasions.
- More than 70 percent of Burrow’s passes went to wide receivers. Burrow barely checked down at all and only targeted his tight end twice.
- Burrow made a bad decision in the red zone early in the third quarter, telegraphing his pass over the middle of the field where safety Geno Stone picked it off and returned it nearly 40 yards.
Joe Mixon: 13 carries, 59 yards | 4 receptions, 5 targets, 36 yards
Joe Mixon was held under 60 yards rushing, but hauled in four catches for 36 yards, bringing his total yardage just shy of 100. So far, Mixon has not pulled his weight as a top-tier running back. He isn’t making as many people miss and he isn’t showing the same kind of burst that we’ve seen in years past through two games. To be fair, he has squared off against a pair of very good rushing defenses in Cleveland and Baltimore. With the Bengals sitting at 0-2, they’ll need more from their bell cow back moving forward.
Chase Brown: 1 carry, 2 yards
Wide Receiver/Tight End
Tee Higgins: 12 Targets, 8 Receptions, 89 Yards, 2 TDs
After completely disappearing a week ago, Higgins made his presence known against the Ravens. The big-bodied receiver made a team-high eight catches on 12 targets, pulling in a pair of touchdowns to remind his fantasy managers that he can still ball out. He might have even snagged a third touchdown had Geno Stone not stepped into the passing lane in the third quarter, as Higgins was the target of Burrow’s interception in the end zone.
Tee Higgins managers sound off 🔊
two touchdowns today ‼️pic.twitter.com/vYaFxsvnpf
— NFL Fantasy Football (@NFLFantasy) September 17, 2023
Ja’Marr Chase: 8 Targets, 5 Receptions, 31 Yards
For the second straight week, Chase’s production was extremely limited, as he once again failed to reach the end zone or exceed 40 receiving yards. Chase’s lack of production wasn’t due to lack of targets – he had eight. He just hasn’t gotten the same separation this season, and it could be because defensive backs have been more physical with him at the line of scrimmage.
— Bobby Trosset (@bobbybaltimoree) September 17, 2023
- Chase was VERY open on Burrow’s interception that was intended for Higgins.
— Dom “YRG” Robinson (@cantguarddom) September 17, 2023
Tyler Boyd: 8 Targets, 6 Receptions, 52 Yards
Burrow went back to Ol’ Reliable, finding Boyd out of the slot for six receptions and 52 yards. Nothing flashy here, just your typical ho-hum average performance from Boyd. Clearly the Ravens were fine with giving Boyd some real estate as long as they shut down Chase (who has burned them frequently in the past). Clearly, their plan worked.
Irv Smith Jr.: 4 Targets, 2 Receptions, 10 Yards
Trayveon Williams: 2 Targets, 2 Receptions, 4 Yards