The Bengals were able to beat the Ravens behind a historic comeback

Just when it looked like backup QB Tyler Huntley was going to give the Ravens a commanding lead over the Bengals in the fourth quarter, things went completely the other way.

Huntley reached for the goal line on three-and-goal from the 1-yard line, but Bengals punter Logan Wilson fumbled the ball free and defensive end Sam Hubbard caught the ball in mid-air. Hubbard then went 98 yards for a touchdown, the key play in the Bengals’ 24-17 victory that eliminated the Ravens on Sunday night.

The defending AFC champion Bengals now travel to face the Bills next weekend, in a Week 17 rematch that was interrupted in the first quarter after Buffalo’s Damar Hamlin collapsed on the field. Hamlin required CPR on the field after going into cardiac arrest, but has since recovered and has been released from the hospital.

Until that setback, Baltimore looked like it could pull off the upset despite the absence of quarterback Lamar Jackson, who missed his sixth straight game with a knee injury. Huntley threw for two touchdowns – equaling his season total in four starts – and was in position to take the lead with 12 minutes left in the game.

Cincinnati, the third seed in the AFC, overcame continued offensive line issues, losing its third starter to injury when Jonah Williams went to left tackle with a knee injury. The Bengals were already without right guard Alex Cappa and right tackle La’el Collins, making it difficult to protect Burrow and giving him time to find receivers downfield.

Baltimore’s defense made another stop in the fourth quarter to force a Bengals punt with seven minutes left, and Huntley threw a 29-yard touchdown pass to tight end Mark Andrews but didn’t make it past midfield. On another punt with 3:14 left, the Ravens drove into Cincinnati territory, and Huntley converted a fourth-and-1 at the Bengals’ 33 inside the two-minute warning.

The Ravens got to the Cincinnati 17 as they looked for the game-tying field goal, but a holding penalty backed them up with 22 seconds left. The final pass on fourth-and-20-of-27 fell incomplete in the end zone to give the Bengals the win.

The two teams traded touchdowns in the third quarter, with Burrow hitting a 1-yard keeper and scoring on a two-point conversion to wide receiver Tee Higgins for a 17-10 lead. Baltimore answered with Huntley’s 41-yard touchdown pass to receiver Demarcus Robinson to tie the game at 17-17.

The Ravens led 10-9 at halftime and their defense held Cincinnati’s offense to just 127 yards to keep the game close. The Bengals took a 9-0 lead, turning a Huntley interception into a Burrow touchdown to Ja’Marr Chase early in the second quarter.

From there, Baltimore took charge, and Huntley led the Ravens on a 17-play, 75-yard drive, capped off by a touchdown on third-and-goal where Huntley threw to JK Dobbins, who stretched and delivered the ball across the field. goal line for the score.

Ravens rookie safety Kyle Hamilton forced a fumble by Bengals tight end Hayden Hurst on the next drive, and Baltimore had a first down at the 3-yard line but failed to capitalize on the opportunity. Justin Tucker’s 22-yard field goal gave the Ravens a 10-9 halftime lead.

Baltimore played its sixth straight game without starting quarterback Lamar Jackson, who is out with a knee injury. The Ravens finished the season 2-3 without him, and Jackson reportedly did not travel with the team for Sunday’s game, raising questions about how things stand with a potential contract extension.

Jackson, a former NFL MVP, played his fifth year last season, earning $23 million, and the Ravens are unlikely to simply let him become a free agent in March. The team could use the franchise tag on him to pay him $32 million in 2023, knowing the long-term extension would have to exceed $40 million per year, and Jackson insists most, if not all, of the contract be guaranteed.

Greg Auman is a reporter for FOX Sports NFC South, covering the Buccaneers, Falcons, Panthers and Saints. He is in his 10th season covering the Bucs and the NFL full-time, after spending time at the Tampa Bay Times and The Athletic. You can follow him on Twitter at @gregauman.

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