Patrick Queen can talk a little more trash to Joe Burrow, his former college teammate.
The Ravens' rookie inside linebacker made two huge plays in Sunday's 27-3 near shoutout of Burrow and the Bengals at M&T Bank Stadium.
Queen's first big play came in the second quarter, sacking Burrow and forcing a fumble that Queen alertly recovered. Then in the fourth quarter, Queen was the beneficiary of another extraordinary play by Pro Bowl cornerback Marlon Humphrey, who used his signature punchout to force a fumble by wide receiver Mike Thomas. Queen scooped up the loose ball and ran 53 yards for Baltimore's final touchdown.
After Queen scooped up the loose football and saw open space ahead, just one thing was on his mind.
"Score," Queen said. "Nothing else but score. I've seen a lot of people get chased down on scoop and scores the last couple of weeks. I didn't want to be one of them."
Watching the Ravens overwhelm Burrow during a seven-sack performance was particularly satisfying for Queen because the two are close friends after helping LSU win a national championship last season. Queen and Burrow pushed each other at LSU practices, to the point where their trash talking sometimes became heated, as Queen alluded to when asked about Burrow during the week.
This rematch was a mismatch, as Baltimore's defense dominated. As AFC North rivals, Queen and Burrow will be facing each other for years to come, and Queen loves the idea.
"I knew that when I got drafted and Joe got drafted, we were going to be seeing each other twice a year," Queen said. "It's a start of a great rivalry and I'm glad I got the first win out of it."
Burrow never saw Queen coming on his sack. After scrambling to his left, Burrow was looking downfield and lost track of Queen, who had bolted into the backfield on a blitz. Queen blasted Burrow from behind and jarred the ball loose, then made the recovery.
"Obviously, I was frustrated. We weren't playing very well," Burrow said. "I didn't see the guy coming, so I've just got to hold the ball with two hands, harder."
Queen was clearly fired up about forcing the turnover, jumping up and down afterward and taking the ball with him to the sideline. It's the kind of play that illustrates why Queen was the Ravens' first-round pick. He's a playmaker, a three-down linebacker who can stop the run, blanket receivers in pass coverage and harass quarterbacks on the blitz.
"He did a really good job in coverage across the board," Head Coach John Harbaugh said. "He was all over the field. I just thought he was better in coverage. I thought he did a really good job after the first completion. He did a good job manning zone coverage, and he just played a really solid game."
Queen is still learning on the fly as a rookie, but he entered this game coming off his best performance, leading the team with a career-high 12 tackles against Washington in Week 4. His talent is obvious, and outside linebacker Pernell McPhee already refers to Queen as "the future of the defense."
After Sunday's game, he's getting Defensive Rookie of the Year buzz from his teammates.
Nobody needs to convince Burrow that Queen is good. And after this game, Queen will have more ammunition to talk smack.
"Joe knows I'm going to talk a little trash," Queen said. "Joe's my guy. I love him to death. When he did that little quarterback sneak, I got a few words in. You know how it gets in between us, competitive, we always want to be great, we always want to win. I know it's still going to be a fun rivalry all the way up until the time that we're done."