Sports

Instant analysis: Ravens beat Bengals, 31-24

Peter Schmuck, columnist: They got the job done and reclaimed half of the high ground in the AFC North, but this one ended up being too close for comfort. Just once, could they get that two yards on third down and let everyone exhale?

Kevin Cowherd, columnist: The Ravens celebrated Thanksgiving early. Give their defense credit for a gutty last-minute stand against Andy Dalton and the Bengals. But this game was only one controversial officials’ call away from being another disaster for the Ravens.

Kevin Van Valkenburg, staff writer: On a day like this, all that matters was the victory. Yeah, the defense didn't play well, but the Ravens got some balance back and shook off the bad vibes from Seattle and hung on. Andy Dalton is a really impressive quarterback. He's going to be a burr in the Ravens side for a long time. Torrey Smith, by the way, continues to make everyone who doubted him after two games look foolish.

Ron Fritz, head of sports: This game should not have been this close, but give the Bengals credit for hanging in there after two bad interceptions that the Ravens immediately turned into touchdowns. A much-needed win for the Ravens.

Chris Korman, Ravens editor: An uneven effort on defense, to be sure, but one that showed guts when it mattered most. There's something to be said for that. Becoming a winner is often more of a step-by-step process than we ever realize; teams need to be able to draw on specific past experiences when the pressure of the playoffs comes. The Ravens defense can now go forward knowing that it held -- albeit at home, but also without its leader -- with the game on the line.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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