American Football

Did the Ravens play dirty?


NFL: Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals
Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

Let’s look at the evidence.

The Baltimore Ravens rested starters against the Cincinnati Bengals with potential home field advantage in the Wild Card round on the line. But they played their defense. And their defense went all out.

Why? Arguably to knock out a few of the Cincinnati’s stars to give Baltimore a chance in the postseason. Or maybe they just wanted to set a tone and get an advantage that way.

On the one hand, the dirty plays weren’t stupid or obvious enough to get called. That is why Ravens head coach John Harbaugh was still in position to pretend his team played cleanly.

But on the other hand, there were a lot of late shoves, bumps, unnecessary shots (to the chest, thankfully), grabbing of helmets, and quick facemasks.

The main culprit of Roquan Smith, who seemed to have hoped to injury Bengals star Ja’Marr Chase. Smith was so busy being… less than a perfect gentleman, let’s say… that he was even accidentally celebrating an injury to his own teammate.

Now, the Bengals, contrary to popular opinion, are a physical team that has throttled the best offenses in the league time after time. And the o-line, headed by Ted Karras, knows how to crack skulls itself.

So how will the rematch play out? We discuss in our preview below:

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