What We Saw: Week 7

Bengals @ Ravens

Final Score: Bengals 41, Ravens 17

Writer: Ben Brown (@BenBrownPL on Twitter)


I am not a Bengals fan, so I cannot confirm, but Bengals fans have to be feeling pretty darn good today after this drudging of their division rival in Baltimore. It’s one thing to win a hard-fought battle by one possession at home against a team with wins against the Chiefs and Chargers; It’s an entirely different beast to do it on the road in such a convincing fashion.

This game was close throughout the first half, with a score of 13-10 in favor of Cincinnati, and Baltimore took the lead in a millisecond thanks to deep balls to Rashod Bateman (35 yards) and Marquise Brown (39 yard TD). After that, however, it was all Bengals as they would go on to score touchdowns on four of their next five drives while keeping the Ravens from scoring another point. The AFC North-leading Bengals are looking like the surprise team of the NFL this season and, with Joe Burrow seemingly fully recovered from his injury and rookie of the year candidate Ja’Marr Chase making plays on a weekly basis, this team is looking like a contender midway through the season.


Cincinnati Bengals




Joe Burrow: 23/38, 416 yards, 3 TD, INT, 1 sack


Yes, Joe Burrow looked pretty good on Sunday, but his three touchdowns were mostly the result of his playmakers making plays. The 82-yard TD to Ja’Marr Chase was clearly a result of Chase making multiple defenders miss after “putting them in a blender” (thanks, Kevin Harlan) on a routine slant from Burrow.



The first of C.J. Uzomah‘s touchdowns was again mostly due to Uzomah getting open and shuffling a defender out of his way on the way to the end zone, but Burrow did make a great play to avoid pressure and throw a perfect ball downfield. Bengals fans who are still worried about that knee have to feel good anytime they see this replay.



Burrow’s third touchdown (yes, we’re out of order here but stay with me) was mostly a result of the Ravens’ defense over-covering the dangerous Tyler Boyd.




Yes, they quadruple covered the same Tyler Boyd who only has nine receptions in the last three weeks combined. Great work, Baltimore.

With all of this said, yeah, you’re pretty dang happy with this if you’re either a Bengals fan or someone who rosters Burrow in fantasy, and however he got his three touchdowns it doesn’t really matter one way or another. This should be the case more often than not thanks to the wide range of playmakers Burrow has at his disposal, as he only has to do his job effectively and let everyone else do the hard work most of the time.

The most promising thing to come out of this game is that Burrow was only sacked once by Baltimore’s feisty defense. No, they’re not the Ravens of old with Terrell Suggs and Ray Lewis, but they still have playmakers and when your offensive line is as bad as the Bengals’ O-Line is, bad things can happen. But they played well on Sunday, which bodes well for the rest of the season.


Running Backs


Joe Mixon: 12 carries, 59 yards, TD

Samaje Perine: 11 carries, 52 yards, TD | 1 target, 1 reception, 23 yards


The RBs didn’t need to do much in this game, but when they were asked to carry the rock they sure delivered. Joe Mixon‘s 21 yard scamper to effectively put the game out of reach certainly padded his final line and helped salvage an otherwise disappointing day from a fantasy perspective.



That’s a pretty impressive end to the run, being able to carry in two defenders from four yards out as Mixon did. I wouldn’t worry about him too much – Cincinnati was able to throw the ball so effectively all day they just didn’t need Mixon to be a bell cow, and that’s okay. It would have been nice if he caught a few balls out of the backfield, though.

Even Samaje Perine got in on the fun with a long touchdown run of his own, this one for 46 yards.



He’s a backup at best and, while it’s never a good sign if you have to start him for fantasy purposes, you and the Bengals could do much worse at the position.


Wide Receivers/Tight Ends


Ja’Marr Chase: 10 targets, 8 receptions, 201 yards, TD, Fumble

Tee Higgins: 15 targets, 7 receptions, 62 yards

C.J. Uzomah: 3 targets, 3 receptions, 91 yards, 2 TD

Tyler Boyd: 7 targets, 4 receptions, 39 yards


What more needs to be said about Ja’Marr Chase? I’d say the man had his best day as a professional, which is certainly the case up to this point, but he’s got the talent to do this on any given week and I wouldn’t be surprised if he tops 200 yards multiple times in his career. Just look at how easily he escapes Marlon Humphrey, who is a pretty darn good corner, and turns on the jets to turn this short pass into a long gain.



And I know I posted this GIF above in the Burrow blurb, but it’s worth watching again. And again. And again.



Imagine if he could catch the football though?



And, again, as mentioned above, C.J. Uzomah showed up in a big way on National Tight End day. The volume isn’t there (averaging under three targets per game) but he’s a lightning strike kind of guy in this offense and lightning has struck five times in the last four weeks. Ride the hot hand while you can.

Tee Higgins led the team with an insane 15 targets, but most were short catches without much separation or run-after-catch opportunity. He looked off on his timing with Burrow a few times but Burrow still kept coming back to him. He seems to be getting the short passes that used to go to Tyler Boyd.

Speaking of Boyd, it’s been a disappointing season for him and anyone who rosters him in fantasy. I’m sure he’s perfectly happy with winning regardless of his usage, but it’s still a bit mystifying to see such a talented receiver put up such low numbers week in and week out. He did get loose over the middle of the field for a big play, but otherwise he was just an afterthought in this offense. Hey, at least you didn’t draft Brandon Aiyuk! (unless you did…)


Baltimore Ravens




Lamar Jackson: 15/31, 257 yards, TD, 5 sacks | 12 carries, 88 yards

Tyler Huntley: 5/11, 39 yards


The leading rusher on the day for this Ravens team was once again Lamar Jackson, and this team stayed in the game for as long as they did mostly due to Jackson’s ability to scramble and keep drives alive. Without a capable, playmaking, true running back on the roster, Jackson is being asked to do a lot more than he normally would be and it’s exposing a few of his flaws. Yes, his touchdown pass to Marquise Brown was a thing of beauty, and nobody has ever criticized Jackson for not being a talented thrower of the ball. Much of the criticism has been with his consistency as a thrower of the football and once again the consistency wasn’t there on Sunday. Sure, it’s difficult to ask him to complete 70% of his passes when the defense knows that he’s either going to throw it or run it on pretty much every play, but he’s able to make it work more often than not and it simply didn’t work this week. If this offense had either J.K. Dobbins or Gus Edwards, they might not have lost this game as so many drives wouldn’t have resulted in a punt after four to six plays. Fantasy-wise, Jackson is still a must start every week and he returned a very good game for your team this week, but the ceiling will be capped for as long as he’s asked to do as much as he’s doing now.


Running Back


Devonta Freeman: 4 carries, 14 yards, TD | 3 targets, 3 receptions, 25 yards

Ty’Son Williams: 2 carries, 10 yards | 2 targets, 2 receptions, 24 yards

Le’Veon Bell: 5 carries, 5 yards | 2 targets, 1 reception, -1 yard


There’s really nothing to talk about here. Baltimore had nothing going on the ground besides what Jackson was doing and neither of these three guys have enough talent to be the featured back on any given week. Freeman and Bell are simply past their prime, and Ty’Son Williams just doesn’t look like he’s going to be trusted at this level by a team that is very good at identifying RB talent. That’s not a good omen, and I wouldn’t want to roster any of these guys right now.


Wide Receiver/Tight End


Mark Andrews: 7 targets, 3 receptions, 48 yards, Fumble

Marquise Brown: 14 targets, 5 receptions, 80 yards, TD

Rashod Bateman: 6 targets, 3 receptions, 80 yards

Devin Duvernay: 1 target, 1 reception, 11 yards | 1 carry, -2 yards

Josh Oliver: 5 targets, 2 receptions, 29 yards

James Proche II: 1 target


The two bright spots in this passing game were Marquise Brown and Rashod Bateman. Hollywood earned his nickname this week with a stellar catch in the back of the end zone on a perfect ball from Jackson.



Chidobe Aquzie was on Brown for most of the day and he’s been playing very well this season, so Brown was simply outplayed by a more consistent player this week. The fourteen targets certainly stand out on the stat sheet, though, which bodes well for him in future weeks against easier opponents.

Rashod Bateman looks like he’s going to be a reliable outlet for Jackson this season since returning from injured reserve. He’s got some speed and some wiggle that no other receivers on this roster possess. He ran the second-most routes on the team this week and was third behind Mark Andrews and Brown in targets. If he’s available in your league I would snatch him up soon.




Honestly, the Bengals’ defense simply outplayed the Baltimore offense in this one, which is obviously what everyone expected coming into this game. Cincinnati held the Ravens to 5-16 on 3rd down and 1-4 on 4th down. When you’re unable to convert those opportunities it’s tough to put up many yards or points on offense.


Ben Brown (@BenBrownPL on Twitter)

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