Bengals’ defense lifts team to divisional round thanks to Sam Hubbard touchdown

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Cincinnati Bengals defensive lineman Sam Hubbard returned a fumble 98 yards for a touchdown and it helped his team defeat the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday night, 24-17, to advance to the divisional round of the NFL playoffs.

Ravens quarterback Tyler Huntley fumbled the ball at the Bengals’ 2-yard line and Hubbard picked it up and ran it all the way back for the touchdown. The fourth-quarter play changed the trajectory of the game for the Bengals and helped them stave off their division rival.

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Bengals' defense lifts team to divisional round thanks to Sam Hubbard touchdown

Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Sam Hubbard runs a fumble by Baltimore Ravens quarterback Tyler Huntley back 98-yards for a touchdown in the second half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game in Cincinnati, Sunday, Jan. 15, 2023. 
(AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Bengals' defense lifts team to divisional round thanks to Sam Hubbard touchdown

Before that play, Huntley was driving and it appeared Baltimore was going to take the lead.

Huntley had thrown a touchdown pass to Demarcus Robinson to tie the game at 17 apiece and got a chance to take the lead after the defense forced the Bengals to punt – and he was on a roll.

He threw a 25-yard pass to Mark Andrews and then set the team up for a potential score with a 35-yard run. It was all Huntley until he tried to reach out at the goal line and the ball was punched about by Bengals linebacker Logan Wilson. Hubbard was on the ball and the rest was history.

Huntley’s last-ditch effort to win the game failed. He finished 17-for-29 with 226 passing yards, two touchdown passes and an interception.

Bengals' defense lifts team to divisional round thanks to Sam Hubbard touchdown

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Tyler Huntley (2) fumbles the ball as it is knocked away by Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Logan Wilson, left, in the second half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game in Cincinnati, Sunday, Jan. 15, 2023. The Bengals’ Sam Hubbard recovered the fumble and ran it back for a touchdown.
(AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Baltimore had a 10-9 lead over Cincinnati at halftime. Huntley found J.K. Dobbins for a 2-yard touchdown pass and then Justin Tucker made a 22-yard field goal before the whistle sounded. But their only score in the second half came on the touchdown pass to Robinson.

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Dobbins led the Ravens with 62 yards on the ground. He also had four catches for 43 yards. Andrews led the team with five catches for 73 yards.

Joe Burrow and the Bengals got started early with an Evan McPherson 39-yard field goal in the first quarter. Burrow then found Ja’Marr Chase for a 7-yard touchdown pass.

Bengals' defense lifts team to divisional round thanks to Sam Hubbard touchdown

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase celebrates a first down in the first half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game against the Baltimore Ravens in Cincinnati, Sunday, Jan. 15, 2023.
(AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Burrow ran the ball in on the goal line and then completed the 2-point conversion on a pass to Tee Higgins. Cincinnati was up 17-10 at that point. The Ravens would answer on the following drive.

Burrow was 23-of-32 with 209 passing yards and a touchdown pass to Chase. The star wide receiver had nine catches for 84 yards. Joe Mixon led the team with 39 rushing yards.

Cincinnati is back in the divisional round of the playoffs. The team will play the Buffalo Bills next week. Their matchup in Week 17 was ruled a no contest after Damar Hamlin collapsed on the field.

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The team won the AFC Championship last season only to lose to the Los Angeles Rams in the Super Bowl.

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