It feels good to talk about football again, doesn't it? Now that we know that Damar Hamlin is recovering, we can shift our attention back to the Cincinnati Bengals and they closed out their regular season with a 27-16 win over the Baltimore Ravens.
Let's discuss what we learned in the game.
AFC playoff picture is set
The Bengals and Ravens will play each other again next weekend, as the stripes earned the No. 3 seed and the Ravens are locked into the No. 6 seed. This could be why we saw such a sluggish second half by the Bengals offense, as they might not have wanted to open up their playbook too much.
The Ravens sat a lot of their starters this week because they knew this could be the matchup next week and they wanted to be as healthy as possible for the Wild Card round.
Along with the Bengals hosting the Ravens, we'll also see the Bills host the Dolphins and the Jaguars host the Chargers.
During this game, we saw Tyler Boyd, Tee Higgins, Alex Cappa, and Cam Sample all get nicked up at some point. While Boyd, Higgins, and Sample ended up being okay, Cappa left the field on a cart and it led to Max Scharping starting at right guard in his place.
If Cappa ends up missing an extended period of time, this would be concerning for the right side of the Bengals OL that's already missing La'el Collins at right tackle. It'd mean that Scharping or Jackson Carman would start at right guard and Hakeem Adeniji would start at right tackle. Not ideal.
Sluggish second-half for offense
As I mentioned above, the Bengals likely didn't want to reveal too much from their offensive playbook since they'll be facing the Ravens again next weekend but it was still frustrating to watch them not move the ball very well in the second half.
The run game only managed 55 yards and the offense didn't find the end zone in the final two quarters. Evan McPherson gave the team their only points in the second half. I'm not overly concerned about this but we also saw the offense struggle in the second half of the Patriots game so hopefully this isn't becoming a trend.
Onto the playoffs!