Historically the Bengals (1-2-1) have always played the Ravens (3-1) tough so they are always dangerous. You never overlook them on your schedule. Of course, they don’t have Dalton and Green LLC anymore, so you’d maybe think the Ravens catch a break in the schedule… but no. Rookie QB Joe Burrow has shown all the right stuff so far. He is dangerous.
Last Sunday against Jacksonville, Burrow got his first NFL win and league record, becoming the first rookie to throw for 300-plus yards in three straight games.
What does Baltimore’s HC John Harbaugh think about Burrow?
“That’s pretty remarkable, to say the least,” Harbaugh said of Burrow’s record. “He looks good. Obviously, he did it in college, he was the top pick in the draft. There are high expectations and he’s fulfilling them.”
Ryan Mink of the Ravens’ official website fills us in on the evolution and emergence of Joe Burrow:
“….the buzz around Cincinnati is that Burrow isn’t the typical rookie. After Burrow’s win over the Jags, Bengals Head Coach Zac Taylor, said “he’s not a rookie. It doesn’t feel like he’s a rookie and he doesn’t act like a rookie.”
“The LSU signal-caller lit up college football last year, coming out of nowhere to capture the Heisman Trophy and lead the Tigers to the national championship. After transferring from Ohio State, Burrow won the starting job as a junior but had an up-and-down season. He exploded as a senior, throwing for 5,671 yards and 60 touchdowns to just six interceptions. It was perhaps the most prolific season ever for a college quarterback.”
Ravens QB Lamar Jackson wasn’t able to go to the Heisman Trophy presentation for Burrow last Dec. 14. Jackson was in Baltimore, a couple days removed from a five-touchdown performance and breaking Michael Vick’s single-season quarterback rushing record against the New York Jets on Thursday Night Football.
Jackson said he’s never met Burrow and they don’t really have any relationship yet even though they’re both Heisman winners.
“I like his game,” Jackson said. “Obviously he broke records for passing yards in consecutive weeks. That’s dope. But I don’t wish him success against us. I want to win.”
The Ravens will try to make Burrow look like a rookie Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium. Baltimore is 17-2 all-time against rookie quarterbacks at home. Last year, the Ravens picked up wins against the Arizona Cardinals’ Kyler Murray and Pittsburgh Steelers’ Devlin Hodges. No other team has more home wins against first-year quarterbacks since 1996, when the Ravens were born.
Ravens rookie linebacker Patrick Queen played with Burrow at LSU and has a similar career arch as players who didn’t become starters until late in their college careers, then turned first-round NFL draft picks and immediate starters.
“It was a crazy relationship between us,” Queen said. “Word got out that things got heated sometimes. That’s just the competitor in both of us. We’re still good friends to this day. Joe’s a great guy, great competitor. Day 1 when he came in, he went to work against all of us [on defense]. I’m looking forward to this rematch.”
Meanwhile, Lamar Jackson was a surprise non-participant at Wednesday’s Ravens practice. Jackson was listed with a knee injury.
Jackson spoke with reporters before practice Wednesday and did not mention any injury. John Harbaugh did not reference Jackson during a Monday injury update, saying the Ravens are in “good shape going forward.”
Jackson did not suffer any obvious injury during Sunday’s 31-17 win in Washington. Robert Griffin III replaced Jackson late in the game when it was already out of reach.
In good news, left tackle Ronnie Stanley, who missed last weekend’s game due to a shoulder strain, returned to practice on a limited basis. Stanley was “really close” to playing in Washington, Harbaugh said.
Defensive end Derek Wolfe (elbow) also returned to the practice field as a full participant, as did rookie defensive tackle Justin Madubuike (knee), who has yet to play in a game.
Other Ravens who did not practice Wednesday were cornerbacks Marcus Peters (thigh) and Jimmy Smith (knee), tight end Nick Boyle (thigh), guard Tyre Phillips (shoulder), defensive lineman Broderick Washington (illness) and defensive end Calais Campbell (not injury-related).
Boyle grabbed for his knee after a collision during the onside kick at the end of Sunday’s win.
“I haven’t heard anything about Nick on any report,” Harbaugh said Monday. “I haven’t seen him yet today, personally, but it doesn’t seem to be an issue.”
The Bengals appear to be in better injury shape, as defensive end Carlos Dunlap was the only player who didn’t practice and that was for non-injury reasons.
Cornerback Mackensie Alexander (hamstring), defensive tackle Geno Atkins (shoulder), offensive tackle Jonah Williams (shoulder), linebacker Logan Wilson (concussion), and cornerback Darius Phillips (NIR) were limited.