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Bengals, Ravens Win; Steelers Drop in AFC North

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Baltimore Ravens QB Lamar Jackson vs Steelers OLB T.J. Watt

The Baltimore Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals were victorious in their Week 3 matchups on Sunday. The Ravens defeated the New England Patriots on the road, 37-26, while the Cincinnati Bengals routed the New York Jets, 27-12, in the Meadowlands. The Ravens are now in second place in the AFC North at 2-1, behind just the Cleveland Browns, who are also 2-1. The Browns have the edge because of their divisional win over the Steelers on Thursday night. The Steelers (1-2) are in third place in the AFC North due to their Week 1 win over the Bengals.

Lamar Jackson had another standout performance, completing 18 of 29 passes (62.1%) for 218 yards with four touchdowns, one interception, and a quarterback rating of 110.3. Jackson also rushed for 107 yards on 11 carries and a touchdown. In contrast, Mac Jones had a rough outing with no touchdowns and three interceptions, and a quarterback rating of 62.1.

According to NFL Research, it’s the third time in Jackson’s career that he’s recorded three-plus passing touchdowns and 70+ rushing yards in back-to-back games. Jackson is the only player to accomplish this feat in the Super Bowl era. Jackson had two separate streaks during his 2019 MVP season. In addition, Jackson is the first player in the Super Bowl era with three-plus touchdown passes and 100+ rushing yards in consecutive games.

The Ravens trailed 20-14 early in the third quarter, but Jackson threw two touchdown passes on consecutive drives, and Justin Tucker nailed a 56-yard field goal to put the Ravens up 31-20. Rhamondre Stevenson rushed for a 1-yard touchdown to cut the Ravens’ lead to 31-26 with 12:39 remaining in the fourth quarter. Jones’ pass intended for Stevenson fell incomplete on the two-point conversion attempt. A 9-yard touchdown run by Jackson coupled with a Marcus Peters interception secured the win for Baltimore.

After starting the season 0-2, the Bengals took out their frustration on the Jets, as it was never really a close game. Tyler Boyd had a 56-yard catch-and-run touchdown in the second quarter to put the Bengals up 14-6, and Cincinnati never looked back after that. Joe Flacco was impressive in the Jets’ 31-30 win over the Browns last week, but he came back down to earth on Sunday, completing 28 of 52 passes (53.8%) for 285 yards with no touchdowns, two interceptions, and a quarterback rating of 53.8.

The Bengals out-gained the Jets, 329-328, but New York turned the ball over four times and were 0-for-2 in the red zone. Joe Burrow had his best game of the year, completing 23 of 36 passes (63.9%) for 275 yards with three touchdowns, no interceptions, and a quarterback rating of 114.9.

Boyd led the Bengals with four receptions for 105 yards and a touchdown, while Ja’Marr Chase had six receptions for 29 yards and a touchdown. Tee Higgins also had five receptions for 93 yards and nearly had a spectacular toe-tapping touchdown grab. In all reality, it should have been a touchdown, but the NFL’s vague catch rule got in the way.

The Bengals will host the 3-0 Miami Dolphins on “Thursday Night Football” in Week 4, while the Ravens will face off with the Buffalo Bills in Baltimore at 1 p.m. next Sunday. The Browns play the Atlanta Falcons in Cleveland, and the Steelers will play the Jets at Acrisure Stadium. Both games have 1 p.m. start times next Sunday. Jets quarterback Zach Wilson is expected to start against the Steelers, which will be his season debut. Wilson suffered a meniscus tear and a bone bruise in his knee in the Jets’ preseason opener against the Philadelphia Eagles.

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