Logan Wilson will need to have identified the previous “soar and stretch the ball over the aim line” play was coming. We’ve seen it numerous occasions on quarterback sneaks, however hardly ever has it been defensed in addition to Wilson did it on Sunday evening.
Wilson, a Cincinnati Bengals linebacker, reached up when Baltimore Ravens quarterback Tyler Huntley was about to cross the ball over the aim line within the fourth quarter of a tie AFC wild-card recreation. Wilson knocked the ball out, then defensive finish Sam Hubbard took the fumble and raced 98 yards for a landing. You will not see many performs flip a playoff recreation that abruptly.
The Bengals made that nice defensive play after which obtained a cease within the ultimate minute after the Ravens drove contained in the 20-yard line to carry on to the 24-17 win. A ultimate move by Huntley to the top zone barely fell incomplete as time expired and the Bengals survived. The Bengals will play a divisional spherical recreation on the Buffalo Bills subsequent Sunday.
Baltimore put up a fantastic battle with out Lamar Jackson and had a fantastic shot on the upset till Wilson’s incredible play on the aim line. It was the longest fumble return for a landing in playoff historical past. It was additionally the longest defensive landing since Taron Johnson of the Buffalo Bills had a 101-yard interception return in opposition to the Ravens within the 2020 playoffs. It was one of many largest performs in Bengals historical past, and probably the most gorgeous defensive performs in NFL playoff historical past.
The Ravens will surprise what would have occurred if Huntley stayed on the bottom as an alternative of making an attempt to go excessive.
Ravens take a halftime lead
Like loads of different playoff video games on wild-card weekend, the beginning of Sunday evening’s recreation was deceptive. The Bengals obtained a area aim to begin it. Then Ja’Marr Chase scored a 7-yard landing and although the Bengals missed the additional level, they led 9-0.
The Ravens had been underdogs as a result of their quarterback scenario has been a multitude with out Jackson. They trailed early. The Bengals have been taking part in very effectively. It appeared like the sport would possibly get out of hand early.
Then the Ravens obtained robust. They went on a 17-play, 75-yard drive that ended with a landing. Then rookie security Kyle Hamilton compelled a fumble that the Ravens recovered they usually cashed that in with a area aim on the finish of the primary half.
The Ravens someway led 10-9 at halftime. The Bengals misplaced a 3rd offensive lineman to damage, with left sort out Jonah Williams struggling a leg damage. The Ravens had turned the sport into the slugfest that gave them an opportunity to win.
It wasn’t a fairly half, however an efficient one for the Ravens.
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Tyler Huntley (2) fumbles the ball as it’s knocked away by Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Logan Wilson. ( (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Huge play turns the sport
The Ravens continued to battle. The offense, which has been terrible with out Jackson, was doing sufficient to scare Cincinnati. Huntley hit Demarcus Robinson for a 41-yard landing to tie the sport within the third quarter. In the fourth quarter the Ravens had been on the 1-yard line with an opportunity to take a lead.
The Ravens lined up in a formation that has develop into acquainted, thanks largely to the Philadelphia Eagles and Jalen Hurts. Baltimore had a number of gamers behind Huntley, able to push him in on a quarterback sneak. Huntley, maybe seeing a gap over the pile, jumped up and stretched out the ball. That’s when the Ravens’ upset bid ended. Wilson made a fantastic play and Hubbard beat everybody down the sector to the top zone.
The Ravens’ protection saved the staff within the recreation after that turnover. A Ravens drive obtained to about midfield however a third-down sack shut it down. Baltimore compelled one other punt and the Ravens obtained a drive inside Bengals territory. A quarterback run on fourth-and-1 saved the drive going. A move to J.Ok. Dobbins obtained the Ravens contained in the 20-yard line. A holding name on a run play with 22 seconds left, after the Ravens had let the clock run, was an enormous blow. On fourth-and-20, Huntley threw a desperation move to the top zone and it was nearly caught as time expired. Ravens receiver James Proche had a shot at it and the ball grazed his fingers earlier than it hit the bottom in entrance of a diving Sammy Watkins.
The Bengals’ offense will get all the eye in Cincinnati, and rightfully so. But on an evening when the Ravens did job slowing down Joe Burrow and his teammates, the Bengals’ protection saved the staff’s postseason desires alive.