The Baltimore Ravens moved to 8-3 on the season with their 34-20 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals on Thursday Night Football.
The divisional battle did not go as expected because there were numerous injuries that changed the game, with one turning out to be season-ending.
In the end, the Ravens proved that they are the team to beat in the AFC North.
The Ravens star did a little bit of everything on Thursday night, as he passed for 264 yards, threw 2 touchdowns, and ran for 54 yards.
Baltimore burst out of the gate, which has become a theme for them, as the Ravens scored 21 points in the first half behind Lamar Jackson’s effort in the pocket and Gus Edwards’ rushing touchdown.
With Thursday’s win, the Ravens have now won 5 of their last 6 games. The only loss in that span was in Week 10 when the Ravens blew a 15-point lead in the 4th quarter against the Browns and ended up losing.
Besides that one terrible quarter, the Ravens have been playing some of the best football in the league.
Mark Andrews suffered an ankle injury in the first half and Jackson needed another receiver to step up in his place. Odell Beckham Jr. answered the call.
The veteran hauled in 4 catches on 7 targets and totaled 116 receiving yards - the first time all season that he surpassed 100 receiving yards in a game.
Following the primetime win, the Ravens are -180 to win the division and +450 to win the AFC. The only team ahead of them in the AFC race is the defending champions, the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Bengals had to play the second half of the game with Jake Browning at quarterback because Joe Burrow suffered a wrist injury in the 2nd quarter.
Before Burrow got hurt, he was 10/17 for 101 yards and a touchdown. His quarterback rating was 100.4, and it looked like the game was going to go down to the wire - until Burrow fell on his wrist.
Browning entered in the 2nd quarter and played the remainder of the game after Burrow was ruled out.
He finished 8/14 for 68 yards and a touchdown, so the backup did his job after Burrow went down. Joe Mixon also received a lot more touches once Browning came in the game, and the running back finished with 69 yards on 16 carries.
After the game, the Bengals announced that Burrow had sprained his wrist. Considering the quarterback couldn’t even throw the ball on the sideline after getting hurt, it seems like the injury is rather serious.
Since the end of the game, it has been reported that the NFL will investigate to find whether or not Burrow was hurt going into the game given the Bengals left him off their injury report.
The Bengals are now +1700 to win the AFC North, the worst odds of all four teams in the division.
Burrow wasn’t the only player to suffer a major injury on Thursday night. Ravens tight end Andrews grabbed his ankle after a catch during Baltimore’s first offensive drive.
Many speculated it was a sprain or he had just rolled it, but Andrews did not get up. After several minutes, the tight end hobbled off the field and it was clear that he was in a lot of pain.
Soon after, the Ravens announced he would not return to the game. And then, after the game, the Ravens revealed that Andrews had suffered a season-ending ankle injury.
That is a huge loss for the Ravens since Andrews was Jackson’s favorite target. In 10 games this year, he caught 45 passes for 544 yards and six touchdowns, which is tied for the fifth-most receiving scores in the league.
Also, Burrow wasn’t the only quarterback who suffered an injury on Thursday. On a play where Jackson was running to the outside, he hurt his ankle while falling to the ground.
He was able to return to the game, but his ankle injury is something to keep an eye on going forward.