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Other Week 17 Game Recaps

Week 17 Game Recap: Baltimore Ravens 16, Cincinnati Bengals 24

What you need to know

Baltimore Ravens

Maxx Williams, Kamar Aiken, and Jeremy Butler showed some future promise and Ryan Mallett might have won himself a backup job with a chance to run the first team offense this spring and summer while Joe Flacco recovers.

Cincinnati Bengals

The Cincinnati Bengals relied on great defense and an inspired performance by the running game to get passed the Baltimore Ravens 24-16 in Week 17. A.J. McCarron go off to a slow start but was able to get things going throwing two touchdown passes, one to Tyler Eifert and A.J. Green. Jeremy Hill had his longest run of the season with a 38-yard touchdown run and handled the majority of the work in the backfield over Giovani Bernard. Marvin Jones tied for the team lead in targets with five with Green.

Baltimore Ravens

QB Ryan Mallett, 80 offensive snaps, Pass: 30 - 56 - 292 - 1 TD / 2 INT, Rush: 1 - 4 - 0
Ryan Mallett stood tall in the pocket in the face of pressure and was efficient on 3rd down conversions. t faced consistent pressure behind a makeshift offensive line against the Bengals explosive pass rushers. Geno Atkins blew by Ryan Jensen for a 3rd down sack on the Ravens opening possession. Mallett converted two 3rd downs with completions to Butler and Aiken for nice gains. The Ravens leaned on the run game early to set up manageable down and distances. However, back to back procedural penalties stalled the drive and kept the Ravens out of field goal range. Starting in good field position, Mallett helped move the Ravens inside the Bengalís 10 yard line. Mallett threw a dangerous pass late towards Javorius Allen that should have been intercepted by Dre Kirkpatrick but instead Tucker knocked in a short field goal. Fading away from pressure, Mallett made a perfect throw to a well-covered Maxx Williams to convert another 3rd down. Mallett again connected with the rookie tight end to convert a 3rd and 8. Mallett threw low to Jeremy Butler who took the screen pass for a 32 yard touchdown, but the score was nullified upon review because the pass hit the turf before Butler secured it. The Ravens settled for a long field goal instead. Mallett orchestrated an impressive scoring drive running the 2 minute offense before halftime. Mallett executed well and looked comfortable and confident. Mallett connected with Aiken, Williams, Butler, and Allen setting up a 50 yard field goal and giving the Ravens the lead. Mallett threw a costly interception with pressure in his face trying to force a pass to Allen. Mallett responded well after the interception. Finding Butler for a nice gain and moving the Ravens into Bengals territory. The drive stalled thanks to a Chris Mathews drop on 3rd down and Maxx Williams dropping a slant on 4th down. The offense began to look out of sync on the following two possessions as the Ravens abandoned the run game down 12 and had multiple miscues with receivers apparently running the wrong routes. Mallett tried to force a deep pass to Chris Givens and Reggie Nelson saw it coming a mile away but dropped the easy interception. Mallett bounced back and put together a nice drive with 4 minutes remaining. He made accurate throws to Aiken, and connected twice with Chris Matthews over the middle to move the Ravens into the red zone. Mallett capped the drive finding Juszczyk wide open off of play action in the flat. The Ravens got possession with 40 seconds remaining, no timeouts and deep in their own territory down 8. Mallett promptly threw an ugly interception into a sea of Bengalsí defenders.

RB Javorius Allen, 49 offensive snaps, Rush: 15 - 38 - 0, Rec: 6 - 32 - 0 (10 targets)
Javorius Allen reassumed his starting role after a strong performance against the Steelers. Allen saw all the touches on the Ravens opening possession including a reception for negative yardage because of slip in the backfield. Allen dropped his second target that was thrown slightly behind him on a dump off over the middle. Allen followed Marshal Yanda around the edge and into the open field for 14 yards on his best run of the day. Allen picked up 7 more yards again running right and plowing through traffic. Allen made a 10 yard catch over the middle and nearly slipped a Vincent Rey tackle for more yardage. The catch set up a field goal as time expired in the 2nd quarter. In the second half the Ravens abandoned the run game in part because of inefficiency and part game script. The Ravens found success in some matchups downfield but the success faded as the Bengals no longer felt the threat of the Ravens rushing attack. Allen saw far fewer carries in the second half at lower yards per attempt than the first. Allen caught a pass in the flat and tip toed down the sideline for a 9 yard pick up. Allen again caught a pass in the flat and outraced Rey down the sideline for 13 more yards.

WR Jeremy Butler, 65 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 57 - 0 (8 targets)
Jeremy Butler played one his best games as a Raven. Butler beat Leon Hall out of the slot on 3rd and short for a 12 yard gain. Jeremy Butler took a screen pass for a 32 yard touchdown cutting across the field and following his blockers who formed a convoy all the way to the end zone. However, upon review Butler allowed the ball to touch the ground as he secured it and the big play was nullified. Butler beat Hall down the seam with a nice stutter step for 16 yards. Mallett found Butler in the flat who ducked out of bounds after an 11 yard gain. Butler ran a nice out route from the slot and came wide open for 17 yards.

WR Kamar Aiken, 74 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 76 - 0 (13 targets)
Kamar Aiken played well and could have had a much bigger statline. Aiken had separation on a deep comeback route but Mallettís pass came up short. Aiken and Mallett were frequently just off on deep sideline targets. On 3rd and long Aiken ran a nice out route from the slot picking up 18 yards and a first down. Aiken made his second grab on a deep crossing route for 20 yards against zone coverage. Aiken picked up 17 running an in route against Reggie Nelson. Aiken had his arm held by Adam Jones as he tried to make a play on what would have been a 15 yard completion. Aiken picked up 8 yards running a curl route against Dre Kirkpatrick. Aiken drew an 11 yard pass interference penalty on Kirkpatrick with a nice double move but the completion would have gone for much more yardage because Aiken had room to run. Aiken again beat Kirkpatrick on a curl route and turned up field for 13 yards.

TE Maxx Williams, 75 offensive snaps, Rec: 6 - 53 - 0 (10 targets)
Maxx Williams played his best game as a Raven against the Bengals. On his first reception Williams reached back and made a nice grab on a crossing route for a 15 yard gain. Williams made 3 catches in quick succession. The first was a 3rd down conversion against tight coverage for 12 yards. The second was an impressive one handed catch he pinned on his shoulder with a linebacker draped all over him. The third was a nice curl route to convert a 3rd down and 8. Maxx Williams got away with a push off and picked up 10 yards against Vontaze Burfict. Williams made a diving attempt at a low pass from Mallett that would have gone for 21 yards but the call was reversed upon review. Williams then dropped a slant on 4th and 2 a few plays later. Williams was held out of his break on what would have been a 5 yard score.

Cincinnati Bengals

QB A.J. McCarron, 61 offensive snaps, Pass: 17 - 27 - 160 - 2 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 3 - 2 - 0
The Bengals offense got off to a slow start in Week 17 against the Ravens but ultimately A.J. McCarron would overcome a poor showing to get the win. McCarron threw two touchdown passes on 17-of-27 pass attempts for 160 yards. The Bengals were 0-9 on third down but the running game was extremely impressive. McCarron was in fact battling through a strained wrist but it was on his non-thrown hand. He threw touchdown passes to both Tyler Eifert and A.J. Green. Eifertís score came after a 23-yard defensive pass interference penalty in the second quarter. Eifert found some room down the left seam and came down with the ball for the highly contested 22-yard touchdown. The Bengals would make it 14-9 to start the second half after McCarron hooked up with A.J. Green on back-to-back plays. It started off of a Ravens interception where McCarron threw a ball up on the sideline and Green somehow came down with it and got both feet down in bounds. The pass had no business being completed and the very next play McCarron would throw a fade over cornerback Shareece Wright to a great spot where only Green could catch it. It was a 10-yard touchdown pass to the five-time pro bowl receiver.

RB Jeremy Hill, 37 offensive snaps, Rush: 16 - 96 - 1, Rec: 2 - 19 - 0 (3 targets)
Jeremy Hill boasted a 16-96-1 stat line in Week 17 and had his longest run of the season on a key fourth down play where he took the ball 38-yards to the house in the third quarter. He did a good job behind backup tackle Jake Fisher following him to the left and cutting to the right through the hole that was created by Fisher. 70 of his 96 yards came on seven touches but the running game came up big for a Bengals team struggling on third down all night. Hill has been receiving more carries with A.J. McCarron at the helm and has looked more like his 2014 self in a lead back role. His 5.6 yards per carry in Week 17 is a vast improvement on times this season where he had trouble finding the line of scrimmage and couldnít protect the football.

RB Giovani Bernard, 21 offensive snaps, Rush: 6 - 36 - 0, Rec: 1 - 12 - 0 (3 targets)
Giovani Bernard had just seven touches in Week 17 in a game that was dominated by running mate Jeremy Hill. He had 36 yards on six attempts and also caught one pass for 12 yards on three targets. Bernard has enjoyed less of a role without Andy Dalton as the Bengals have made the switch to more of a power running game that better suits Jeremy Hill. Bernard had a nice 12-yard run off of a dump pass he was able to bounce outside behind guard Kevin Zeitler.

WR Marvin Jones, 54 offensive snaps, Rec: 5 - 38 - 0 (5 targets)
He tied for the team lead in targets with A.J. Green with five and had five receptions for 38 yards in the Bengals win over the Ravens in Week 17. The offense struggled on third downs all night but was content to coast to victory once they got a lead. Tyler Eifert coming back from injury hurt Jones a bit as there just wasnít a ton of volume to go around. Jones drew a key pass interference penalty that set up Eifertís touchdown in the second quarter.

WR A.J. Green, 52 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 34 - 1 (5 targets)
A.J. Green caught 4-of-5 targets in Week 17 against the Ravens for just 34 yards. He did have a spectacular receiving touchdown in the third quarter to get the Bengals lead to 14-9. He caught back-to-back passes on the drive, both at the sideline and able to get both feet in bounds. On his touchdown grab he leaped over cornerback Shareece Wright on a fade route and was able to again get both toes in bounds. It was a 10-yard touchdown grab and Green tied for the team lead in targets with Marvin Jones in this one. The Bengals were content relying on great defense and the run game in this one as McCarron had just 27 pass attempts.

TE Tyler Eifert, 37 offensive snaps, Rec: 4 - 51 - 1 (4 targets)
In his return from a concussion, Tyler Eifert caught all four of his targets for 51 yards and a receiving touchdown. He got the Bengals on the board after a slow start with a nice 22-yard touchdown set up by a pass interference penalty committed by the Ravens. It was a tightly contested touchdown grab with Eifert coming down the left seam. Eifert was able to knock off some rust before playoffs and will continue to be a factor for this offense in the red zone going forward.