Burrow hits Ravens with MJ shrug on historic day

Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals walloped the Baltimore Ravens in a Week 7 win.

On Sunday, they picked up where they left off in a 41-21 victory over their division rivals to take control of the AFC North. The Bengals blitzed the Ravens for 31 first-half points as Burrow played on one of the best halves of football in the NFL this season — or any for that matter.

By the time he was done, he’d torched the Ravens for 525 passing yards, the fourth-highest single-game total in NFL history behind Norm Van Brocklin (554 yards in 1951), Matt Schaub (527 yards in 2012) and Warren Moon (527 yards in 1990). He delivered a Michael-Jordan-esque shrug when he broke 500 yards with a 52-yard connection to running back Joe Mixon. Tee Higgins breakout continues

Burrow got a big assist from Tee Higgins, whose breakout since the season’s midpoint continued in spectacular fashion. With the Bengals facing third-and-16 near midfield in the second quarter, Higgins took off on a go-route down the left sideline with two defenders in tow. No matter.

Burrow launched a missile armed with confidence in his second-year receiver’s ability to get the ball. Draped by cornerback Kevon Seymour and safety Brandon Stephens, Higgins out-leapt both to corral the perfectly placed ball at the 3-yard line for a 52-yard gain.

Four plays later, Higgins hauled in a 1-yard touchdown pass from Burrow to pay off the big play. The touchdown gave the Bengals a 31-14 lead going into halftime and capped a stunning first half from Burrow and the Bengals’ offense. Burrow’s spectacular half, game

Burrow finished the half completing 18 of 21 passes for 299 yards with three touchdowns. His yardage total was the highest at halftime by any NFL quarterback in 2021 . The advanced metrics were just as striking with his 26 first-half plays producing 21.9 expected points added .

Higgins finished with 12 catches for 194 yards and two touchdowns. The total marked his fourth 100-yard effort in five games after he produced zero in the first 11 weeks of the season. Rookie standout Ja’Marr Chase added seven catches for 125 yards as Burrow finished the day completing 37 of 46 pass for 525 yards with four touchdowns and no turnovers.

The Ravens couldn’t keep pace as they played with third-string quarterback Josh Johnson in place of sidelined starter Lamar Jackson and backup Tyler Huntley.

With the win, the Bengals improved to 9-6 to take control of the AFC North while dropping the Ravens to 8-7. With two weeks left in the season and possession of the tiebreaker courtesy of their sweep of the Ravens, it adds up to a commanding lead in the division for the Bengals. Was Burrow sparked by bulletin-board material?

After the game, Burrow said that a comment from Ravens defensive coordinator Wink Martindale "maybe" inspired him to his 525-yard performance. Martindale provided the bulletin board material when asked if the Ravens would double-team Chase like they did Green Bay Packers receiver Davante Adams in […]

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