BALTIMORE (AP) — The Baltimore Ravens sacked Joe Burrow seven times, forced the Bengals rookie into a pair of turnovers and effectively stuffed Cincinnati’s running game in a meticulous 27-3 victory Sunday.
Baltimore stout defensive performance was punctuated by Patrick Queen’s 52-yard fumble return in the fourth quarter. It was the first NFL touchdown for Queen, who played with Burrow last year for national champion LSU.
Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson wasn’t particularly sharp, but it didn’t really matter. Jackson, the 2019 NFL MVP, went 19 for 37 for 180 yards and two touchdowns with an interception.
Mark Andrews and Marquise Brown caught touchdown passes for Baltimore, which matched the best start in franchise history. The last time the Ravens (4-1) won four of their first five was 2012, when they ended up winning the Super Bowl.
Burrow, the top pick in the NFL draft, entered with three straight 300-yard passing games — a record for a rookie. In this one, he looked every bit like a first-year player going up against one of the league’s elite defensive teams.
Burrow completed 19 of 30 passes for 183 yards, threw an interception and lost a fumble. It wasn’t all this fault, because the Cincinnati offensive line had all sorts of problems trying to contain the blitzing, stunting, charging Ravens.
Burrow has been sacked 22 times in five games, and this wasn’t even the worst. He was sacked eight times in Philadelphia.
The Bengals (1-3-1) couldn’t run the ball, either. Joe Mixon, who rushed for 151 yards last week in a win over Jacksonville, was limited to 59 yards on 24 carries.
After amassing 505 yards against the Jaguars, Cincinnati could muster only 205 yards — much of it in the fourth quarter when the outcome was already decided.
A field goal with 32 seconds remaining enabled the Bengals to avoided being blanked.
The Ravens got a field goal on their opening possession after rookie receiver Devin Duvernay ran around left end for 42 yards.
Cincinnati then failed on a fourth-down try, and Baltimore moved 62 yards the other way for a 10-0 lead. Jackson completed two third-down passes to Andrews before capping the drive with a short touchdown pass to his reliable tight end.
Minutes later, Burrow hurried a third-down pass under pressure and was picked off by Marcus Peters, setting up a 2-yard touchdown pass to Brown.
Cincinnati’s next possession ended when Queen stripped Burrow and recovered the fumble near midfield.
It was 20-0 in the fourth quarter before Marlon Humphrey stripped the ball from receiver Mike Thomas and Queen scooped up the fumble and rambled down the right sideline.
The Ravens travel to Philadelphia, their last game before taking a rescheduled bye on Oct. 25.