The showdown for the AFC North lead turned into a showcase for Joe Burrow as the Cincinnati Bengals hammered the visiting Baltimore Ravens 41-21 on Sunday.
Burrow had his best game as a pro, as he completed 37 of 46 passes for a career-high and franchise-record 525 passing yards and four touchdowns.
Tee Higgins had career highs with 12 catches for 194 yards and two touchdowns. Fellow wideout Ja’Marr Chase added 125 yards receiving, and Joe Mixon added 135 scrimmage yards and two scores for the Bengals, who scored on each of their first seven possessions.
The win gave Cincinnati (9-6) sole possession of first place in the AFC North with two games to play. The Bengals swept the Ravens in both meetings this season for the first time since 2015, and did so with a combined score of 82-38.
Baltimore (8-7), which had a combined 33 players on the injured reserve and reserve/COVID lists on Friday, dropped its fourth in a row. Journeyman quarterback Josh Johnson, making his first start since 2018, played well for the Ravens, who were without starting quarterback Lamar Jackson (ankle) and backup Tyler Huntley (COVID list).
Johnson finished 28 of 40 for 304 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. Mark Andrews had eight receptions for 125 yards and a score.
But the Ravens defense had no answer for Burrow and the Bengals. Cincinnati set the tone early, and scored on each of its five first-half possessions en route to a 31-14 halftime lead. Burrow threw for an NFL season-high 299 yards in the first half and three touchdowns after hitting 18 of 21 passes.
Baltimore took its only lead at 7-3 with 5:56 left in the first quarter, when Johnson found Rashod Bateman for a 4-yard touchdown — Bateman’s first of the season.
Cincinnati reeled off 21 straight points on Mixon’s 1-yard touchdown run, Burrow’s 68-yard touchdown down the seam to Tyler Boyd and Burrow’s 9-yard scoring toss to Mixon to take a 24-7 lead.
Devonta Freeman scored on a 2-yard plunge for the Ravens to cut it to 24-14 with 1:38 left in the half. But Burrow’s 1-yard touchdown to Higgins came with just 21 seconds remaining and snatched the momentum back.
Evan McPherson hit a 36-yard field goal for Cincinnati to cap a 10:29 drive in the third quarter for a 34-14 lead.
Johnson found Andrews for an 18-yard touchdown on the first play of the fourth quarter to cut it 34-21, but the Bengals answered with Burrow’s 10-yard TD to Higgins with 10:05 left.
–Field Level Media