BALTIMORE: Coach John Harbaugh appreciated his team’s ability to keep it together after allowing a game-tying, 51-yard, end-of-regulation “Hail Mary” on the way to beating the Bengals in overtime.
“It’s disappointment, but you don’t get disheartened,” Harbaugh said. “The game is not over. I’m proud of the fact that our guys looked at it that way.
“It’s not something you have to go walking up and down the bench to make the point. We’ve got leadership all the way across the board. I’m really proud of them.”
The Ravens’ 20-17 OT win over the Bengals on Sunday was their fourth straight triumph over Cincinnati at M&T Bank Stadium.
Quarterback Joe Flacco’s touchdown pass to tight end Dallas Clark was the first first-quarter TD the Ravens had scored since the regular-season opener. Baltimore had scored just 16 first-quarter points prior to hosting Cincinnati.
The Flacco-to-Clark hookup also gave Baltimore its first lead in a game since Oct. 6 at Miami.
The Ravens’ defense sacked Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton five times and hit him nine times. Dalton emerged with the second-lowest passer rating of his career (52.2).
Kicker Justin Tucker hit from 46 yards out in overtime against Cincinnati, the fifth game-winning kick of Tucker’s 29-game career. He’s converted 16 consecutive field goal attempts overall.
The Ravens visit the Bears this Sunday.
CINCINNATI: The loss in Baltimore was the Bengals’ second straight loss in overtime and dropped them to 1-2 against the AFC North Division this season.
Cincinnati hosts Cleveland this Sunday.
Inside linebacker Vincent Rey had a standout performance while starting for the second straight game in place of Rey Maualuga (knee). Rey had 15 tackles, three sacks, three passes defensed and his first career interception in his third-career start.
Tight end Jermaine Gresham (groin) didn’t play against the Ravens, the first game he’s missed in two seasons.
Dalton was picked off three times for the fourth time in his career and has been intercepted three times in back-to-back games for the first time in his career. Also, Cincinnati was penalized nine times for 134 yards in the loss at Baltimore.
The Bengals have lost five of the last six games in the series with Baltimore and fell to 5-13 at Baltimore. They’ll host the Ravens on Dec. 29 (Cincinnati is 10-7 against Baltimore at Paul Brown Stadium).
CLEVELAND: Coach Rob Chudzinski likes what’s been happening with his team beyond the Browns’ 4-5 record.
“I feel good about how we’re building a culture and an identity here,” Chudzinski told Clevelandbrowns.com during the team’s bye week. “That doesn’t happen overnight, that takes time.
“We have a group of guys who have really come together, they’re relentless. I think you see that on a day-to-day basis. They’re passionate about playing football and passionate about being Cleveland Browns. That’s something that’s important to us and I feel like we’re making strides in that area.”
With a passer rating of 116.6 on Nov. 3 against Baltimore, Jason Campbell became the first Cleveland QB in the Super Bowl era (since 1966) to post 100-plus passer ratings in his first two starts with the Browns. Only Derek Anderson (in 2007) had previously achieved 100-plus passer ratings in back-to-back games since the Browns’ franchise resurrection in 1999.
The Browns host the Steelers (Nov. 24) after visiting the Bengals this Sunday. If Cleveland wins both games it would be 6-5 and no worse off than tied for first place in the division.