Cincinnati Bengals Hold Off Baltimore Ravens With Record-Setting Fumble Return

The Cincinnati Bengals held off a depleted Baltimore Ravens squad for a 24-17 win on Wildcard Weekend, but it took one of the most dramatic plays in NFL postseason history. Tied at 17-17 in the fourth quarter, the Bengals defense forced a fumble at their own one-yard line and returned it an improbable 98 yards for the game-winning score.
Ravens quarterback Tyler Huntley was the culprit on the fumble, leaping too early and getting held up before he could break the goal line. Bengals linebacker Logan Wilson forced the fumble, and defensive lineman Sam Hubbard scooped the ball and rumbled down the field, fighting off a desperate tackle by Ravens tight end Mark Andrews. It was the longest fumble return in NFL postseason history, not to mention the longest go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter in NFL postseason history.

The defensive score spared the Bengals a potential heartbreaker. They entered the game 7.5-point favorites, but the Ravens fought them tooth and nail. Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow netted only 183 passing yards on 36 dropbacks, and the team totalled a mere 51 rushing yards on 18 attempts. Instead of reckoning with an inexplicable loss, they get to delight in an iconic win. They'll try to keep the good vibes going when they visit the Buffalo Bills in the Divisional Round.

As for the Ravens, they'll end their year wondering what might have been had starting quarterback Lamar Jackson been available tonight. They'll cross their fingers that he can return and play a full slate of games in the 2023 season.
Photo Credit: © The Enquirer/Kareem Elgazzar / USA TODAY NETWORK