The Ravens didn't get the desired outcome they wanted in Sunday's back-and-forth matchup with the Bengals.
Wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. and defensive tackle Brandon Williams were two bright spots on the rough afternoon, and here's a closer look at some of the game's biggest moments and other items you may not have noticed.
All of these plays were viewed using NFL Game Pass, which is available for fans to purchase.
Williams Has Stellar Day
The bright spot in a disappointing loss was the play of nose tackle Brandon Williams. He was the best player on Baltimore's defense and finished the day with eight tackles, including two for loss. Cincinnati center Russell Bodine was absolutely no match for Williams, particularly when they were in one-on-one matchups. Williams blew Bodine off the ball on multiple occasions, and he consistently forced his way into the backfield to stuff running plays before they even had a chance.
Other Options On Final Play
The Ravens had a long shot to mount a comeback in the final two minutes of the fourth quarter, but that bid came up short when Flacco's fourth-down pass to tight end Maxx Williams fell incomplete. Flacco took a deep shot down the field to Williams, but he may have missed a big play to Marlon Brown on the opposite sideline. As Flacco rolled to the right, he spotted Williams crossing the middle field about 30 yards away from the line of scrimmage. Flacco locked in on Williams as Brown broke free from coverage running down the Ravens' sideline. Brown called for the football, and the TV copy showed Flacco look his direction twice. Flacco may have opted against that throw because he was rolling in the opposite direction and a safety in coverage may have closed in for a cross-field pass.
Flacco also could have thrown a shorter route to running back Justin Forsett, who was wide open in the middle of the field. Forsett was the check down option about 10 yards short of the first down, so he still would have had his work cut out for him once he got the ball in his hands.
Smith's TD Even More Impressive At Second Glance
Little about Steve Smith's performance on Sunday went unnoticed. The veteran receiver put the offense on his back to bring the Ravens all the way back from a 14-point deficit, and his 50-yard touchdown on fourth-and-5 started the rally. The play is even more impressive when looking at it again. Smith caught the pass short of the first-down marker, with four Cincinnati defenders within striking distance. He shrugged off all four tacklers and pushed his way into the end zone for Baltimore's first score of the day.
Unbalanced Line Continues
The use of an unbalanced offensive line looks to have a permanent place in the playbook. After throwing a touchdown pass to Crockett Gillmore against the Raiders with an unbalanced line, the Ravens broke out a similar formation on the first play of Sunday's game. Left guard Kelechi Osemele lined up on the right side and right guard Marshal Yanda lined up outside of the right tackle. The Ravens also had Gillmore on the right side, giving them four players on the right side, and only two on the left. The Ravens ran a play-action pass to fullback Kyle Juszczyk in the flat and picked up nine yards on it.