Cincinnati Bengals 3 Takeaways: Week 17 vs. Ravens

matthewwillson
Jan 3, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback AJ McCarron (5) reacts to throwing a pass for a touchdown in the first half against the Baltimore Ravens at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 3, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback AJ McCarron (5) reacts to throwing a pass for a touchdown in the first half against the Baltimore Ravens at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports /
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Jan 3, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback AJ McCarron (5) throws a pass while under pressure in the first half against the Baltimore Ravens at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 3, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback AJ McCarron (5) throws a pass while under pressure in the first half against the Baltimore Ravens at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports /

The Cincinnati Bengals ended their 2015 regular season with a solid win against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday. They will now host the sixth seed, Pittsburgh Steelers, on Saturday for the right to go to the divisional round in two weeks. Before we move onto the playoffs though, we take a look back on their week 17 win and our three takeaways from Sunday’s game. 

Takeaway #1: A.J. McCarron is Finally Settling In

I think like most Bengals fans, I was worried about how the Bengals would perform without their top leader and starting quarterback, Andy Dalton. Yesterday answered a lot of questions, especially only a week after the offense seemingly fell apart against the Denver Broncos.

The offensive line didn’t have many answers for the pressure created by the Ravens defensive line, especially early on. The three holding penalties killed and it seemed like McCarron was hesitant to try to make a play happen since he kept being penalized for moving around in the pocket. They finally started moving late in the second quarter and took the lead 7-6 on a Tyler Eifert catch in the end zone.

A.J. McCarron  played an incredible second half and the Bengals never looked back. He had two passes to A.J. Green that led to a touchdown, not to mention making plays with his feet to extend plays and opportunities. If he gets the start against the Steelers, it would look a lot different than week 14.

Next: Eifert Tower

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