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What the Bengals Said After Beating Ravens in Playoffs

QB Joe Burrow
QB Joe Burrow

Head Coach Zac Taylor

What do you make of Sam Hubbard's 98-yard touchdown run that gave you the go-ahead score?

"That's why you never give up on a drive, even when it's down there inside the two-yard line. It's what our defense — the whole red zone, the last couple years, it's been awesome from our defense and today is no different. For Logan (Wilson) to knock that ball out and Sam to finish (the play) off 98 yards later, it really changed the momentum of the game because you're looking at a 14-point swing right there, going down seven (points) and then being up seven. It was a challenge on offense, certainly. It's one of the better defenses we face all year. We knew that going in. Our defense really carried us in the fourth quarter. We really needed that."

Have you ever seen a Ravens defense play the way they did today with not allowing anything except underneath?

"They did a good job. They've got a lot of help with guys up front, the (line)backers are rotating through there and they're good at every level of defense. They make you earn it. You're not going to get off any explosive (plays). That's the biggest thing — that's why our drives were so long with so many plays because all three times we played them, all of our drives have been over 10-play drives. It was a strange game. You get three possessions in the first half. We got our third possession with four minutes left in the half and it felt like that's just the way it is. Every possession is so critical because those two turnovers we got on defense — you win the turnover battle two-to-one and you win the game in a game like that. There's no secret sauce there."

It seemed like one of the critical sequences in the game was when Jonah Williams went down, then you hold the Ravens to a field goal right before the half for them to have a one-point lead. Then in the third quarter, they get the ball and you stop them and then you go down and score a touchdown. Can you talk about with everything swirling around the team, how critical that stretch was to the overall victory?

"That's a critical stretch right there because they stole those points before halftime, and they were going to get the ball first (in the third quarter). It was so big for our defense to come out with a stop and then for our offense to immediately respond with a touchdown drive. Really, that's what allowed us to regain the momentum — we had lost that momentum before that last turnover there that Sam (Hubbard) recovered. But that was big to have that momentum going in the second half to know that we would have only 10 possessions."

Was the team deflated at all at halftime?

"No. I mean, it was three possessions (for) each (team at that point). It may seem strange, but it's not because that's how it was the first time we played them, but I think everyone at halftime knew that's not an unexpected way for that game to be at 10-9 at halftime."

The TV cameras caught a great shot of you yelling during Sam Hubbard's return. What was going through your mind at that moment?

"(I was) yelling at all those people to just block somebody. It looked like Mark Andrews was going to run him down and we had a whole caravan of people. That's what was going through my mind — 'Run faster.' It's tough; you consider what Sam went through in that drive and now you're down there in a goal-line situation and that's why you do all the summer conditioning he probably did at Ohio State and at Moeller (High School). All those reps, that's why you do them, for moments like that to be able to finish strong like he did. That was awesome for the hometown kid to finish it that way."

Thoughts on Joe Burrow's performance given the offensive line situation?

"Some of the plays that people aren't going to (recognize the importance of include) the third-and-one play on when we were on the 30 (yard line), we got zone coverage and the play was just a disaster. For him to sprint out and reverse course and get us the first down is really a play that should get more storylines than some realize because that play (came) versus a bad look and he just kind of willed it to happen. Again, I don't have the stats in front of me, but that was probably the possession we scored on during that third quarter. That got us started on that third-and-one, when he scrambled for that. If we don't get that drive, who knows how the game goes from there. It's a three-and-out and we're punting, but he just makes plays like that to will us to victory. He did a great job on the third-down (pass) to Hayden (Hurst) that got us down to the one-yard line. That was great. He took a play, made an adjustment and that's why he was able to hit Hayden. He recognized the coverage. He just makes special plays like that, and that's what you need when it's playoff time."

QB Joe Burrow

Is this an example of 'do-or-die' football?

"That's what it looks like. When you play a divisional team for the third time, all that matters is coming out with the win."

What's going through your mind on Sam Hubbard's big play?

"Run faster Sam! Go! Get there! (laughing) He actually did look pretty fast, surprisingly."

How can you overcome losing Jonah and your other starters on the offensive line?

"We have a lot of faith in those guys. Max Scharping stepped up today, Hakeem Adeniji stepped up today. Jackson Carman stepped up and got in there after Jonah went down."

They seemed committed to preventing you from throwing it long ...

"They mixed a blitz in here and there. They're really good on defense. They stay in their scheme. They mix up coverages. It's a really good defense — one of the best in the league."

Did they change anything in the second half?

"They just mixed it up. They make it tough on you."

Is it a tough play to strip there, on a jump-over like that?

"I haven't even seen it. I just saw Sam running down the field."

Have you ever tried that?

"I have not. And I don't plan on it."

DE Sam Hubbard

Can you give us your play-by-play on the goal line stand?

"Credit to Logan Wilson, punching it out. Just being in the right place, right time. Got a few blocks along the way, and I was just worried about getting tracked down. I'm glad I made it to the end zone."

When's the last time you ran 98 yards?

"Actually, in the summer, I do 110's, at Black Sheep with my trainer Pat Coyne. Shout-out to him (for) getting me ready."

Did you ever imagine when you were a kid that you would make a play like what you made on the field?

"No, you can't even dream that one up. It's pretty special, but I was just glad to see my teammates faces because that was a bad one. It was a toughly fought game. A lot of adversity, very physical. To make the play and be the guy to come through is an amazing feeling. Not only for my teammates, but the fans as well."

What was your responsibility on the play?

"I'm just the contain player and they kind of washed everything down and tried to jump over. Logan is just one of the most aware football players I've ever played with. He jumped up, punched the ball out, and like I said, I was just in the right place at the right time."

How aware are you of how close Ravens TE Mark Andrews was to tackling you?

"I was watching on the big screen. I was like, 'He's coming, somebody block him, please don't get caught.' That's all I was thinking about."

After the defensive touchdown, the defense didn't allow any more points. Did that play help propel you to a win?

"Yeah, I think we got a great play by Cam Sample, Mike Hilton, Joseph Ossai — guys just rolling. When I was down, those guys stepped up big time. We've just got so many great guys in this locker room. It's hard to put into words, but we've been in that spot where you're in the playoffs, it's not going how you pictured. Everyone thought we'd be blowing them out, and you've just got to rise to the occasion. All you've got to do is win, and you just do that by sticking together. I'm glad to be that guy that made a play to kind of change the momentum a bit."

LB Logan Wilson

What did you see on the defensive touchdown?

"Based on the distance that there was away from the goal line, I knew they were in a sneak formation. There was going to be space and time before he was able to reach the ball across the goal line. I just made a play on the ball, G (Germaine Pratt) helped make a play on the ball and bust it out, and Sam (Hubbard) was able to run it down to the other end zone. It was unbelievable."

How difficult was it to play Baltimore for a third time?

"We knew it was going to be (difficult), especially after playing them last week. We're going to enjoy this one for 24 hours, then we've got to get ready for Buffalo."

S Jessie Bates III

How did you feel about your ability to make hustle plays today?

"It's not about me. It's not about the hustle play at all. It's just the tradition that we've created here in Cincinnati. That's what we're all about — doing our job until the play ends. We've got one of the best red zone defenses in the league, so anytime we can line up another snap, we'll be in good shape. It's just the tradition and the standard for our defense."

Where does your defensive mentality come from?

"It's the chemistry we have on this defense, the love that we have for one another. We have no doubt in one another. If somebody gives up a play, we know we'll line it up and have their back. It's the tradition, it's the motto that we have here in Cincinnati. It's all love within all of us."

C Ted Karras

Are the Ravens a tough matchup for you guys?

"They're a tough matchup for anyone. They're a couple big dogs over there. You walk up to the line against the Ravens and you've got Calais (Campbell), 6'8", the rookie (Travis) Jones is a Mack Truck. They have some big people and fast linebackers, so I'm glad we got it done."

WR Ja'Marr Chase

How physical was the game today?

"It was a physical game. It's a division game, so it's always physical."

Was your touchdown catch designed to come to you?

"No, I think I was like the third read. I saw zone, I had a shallow cross and I had to read that. I saw zone, sat it down in the zone, and Joe (Burrow) plucked it on me quick."

How does it feel to win against Baltimore on back-to-back weeks?

"I'll smoke my cigar to that one."

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