By CBS Baltimore Staff

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — For a guy just getting acquainted with Baltimore’s offense, Josh Johnson didn’t take long to find his stride Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals.

In his first start for the Ravens since he was signed Dec. 15, Johnson threw for 304 yards and two scores, including a Rashod Bateman touchdown on his very first drive of the game.

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Despite a red-hot start, Johnson and the Ravens could not keep up with Joe Burrow and the Bengals, who defeated Baltimore 41-21 to claim sole ownership of the AFC North lead.

The Ravens entered the game with one starting cornerback and the rest were called upon from the practice squad. The lack of depth showed when Burrow threw for over 500 yards.

Filling in for Lamar Jackson (ankle) and Tyler Huntley (COVID-19), Johnson was serviceable. He didn’t turn the ball over until throwing an interception late in the fourth quarter.

Baltimore was unable to get much going on the ground. Johnson and running backs Latavius Murray and Devonta Freeman combined for just 39 rushing yards.

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Johnson and the Ravens’ defense were simply no match for Burrow, who seemingly moved the ball at will.

The Bengals took a 10-7 lead in the first quarter and never looked back. Burrow was nearly perfect for Cincinnati, throwing for 525 yards and four touchdowns.

The biggest beneficiaries were receivers Tee Higgins (194 yards) and LaMarr Chase (125 yards). Bengals running back Joe Mixon added 65 yards and a score on 18 carries.

Even with the loss, it wasn’t all bad news for Baltimore. Tight end Mark Andrews was yet again the team’s biggest offensive weapon, hauling in eight grabs for 125 yards and a score. And Bateman, the rookie receiver, collected his first score.

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Baltimore (8-7) falls to second in the AFC North, trailing Cincinnati in the division standings with just two games remaining in the regular season.

CBS Baltimore Staff