‘Philly Special’ goes badly awry as Bengals stumble


By NOAH TRISTER - AP Sports Writer



Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow looks to pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens, Sunday, Oct. 9, 2022, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow looks to pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens, Sunday, Oct. 9, 2022, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)


BALTIMORE (AP) — The “Philly Special” fell flat for Cincinnati, and that might have cost the Bengals the game.

By now, football fans everywhere are familiar with this trick play — and perhaps that was part of the problem. It started as a reverse to receiver Tyler Boyd, with quarterback Joe Burrow slipping out into the flat. When the Eagles ran this play in a Super Bowl, their quarterback was open as a receiving target, but Burrow wasn’t, and Baltimore’s Marcus Peters shoved Boyd to the ground for a 12-yard loss.

From second-and-goal from the 2 to third down from the 14 — it was a huge swing in Cincinnati’s 19-17 loss to the Ravens on Sunday night.

“That was a big play,” Baltimore coach John Harbaugh said. “Marcus made a great football play. … The thing was covered. I thought we did a great job out there covering the quarterback on that.”

The Ravens led 13-10 in the third quarter when Cincinnati drove deep into Baltimore territory. A pass interference call gave the Bengals first-and-goal from the 2. After an incomplete pass, Cincinnati tried its trick play and it flopped miserably.

Still, Burrow was able to complete a pass to Ja’Marr Chase on third down to put the ball back at the 2, and then the Bengals went for it on fourth.

“I think you have to right there,” Burrow said. “If you get seven points, it’ll change the game.”

The play this time was an inside shovel pass, but the Ravens seemed well prepared for that, too, and it went incomplete.

“It didn’t quite work out how we wanted it to on the shovel play, but I felt comfortable with our package,” Cincinnati coach Zac Taylor said.

That ended a 15-play drive that took 8:04 off the clock but resulted in no points. Then the Ravens went 91 yards the other way, using up 8:03 and kicking a field goal that gave them a 16-10 lead.

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Follow Noah Trister at https://twitter.com/noahtrister

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Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow looks to pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens, Sunday, Oct. 9, 2022, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2022/10/web1_129887982-6e72cb3a015e41c5b9b3eeff4c14bf32.jpgCincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow looks to pass during the first half of an NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens, Sunday, Oct. 9, 2022, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

By NOAH TRISTER

AP Sports Writer