Hunt and Bengals finish season with 35-point loss to Ravens
Estonian defensive lineman Margus Hunt and his home team Cincinnati Bengals finished off their National Football League (NFL) with a 38:3 loss to division rival Baltimore Ravens. Hunt stood out with two consecutive pass deflections, the latter leading to an interception.
The week 17 game between Cincinnati and Baltimore was an affair between two teams with two different directions. Cincinnati, who entered the final week having already been eliminated from contention, was perhaps even looking for another loss to improve draft position going into next season and Baltimore was looking to clinch a playoff berth with a win.
The game started with the Ravens scoring on two of their first drives, taking up 12 minutes of possession, as last season's most valuable player Lamar Jackson connected on a long pass for a touchdown and kicker Justin Tucker added another field goal, giving Baltimore a 10:0 lead going into the second period.
The Karksi-Nuia born Margus Hunt gave the Bengals a bit of light in the start of the second, however, getting his hands on two consecutive Jackson passes, batting the second up into the air with Akeem Davis-Gaither coming in to intercept it. The Bengals were not able to capitalize on the Estonian's long arms though, punting the ball back to the Ravens after that. Baltimore added one more touch down, which the Bengals responded to with a field goal, leading the teams to half at 17:3 for Baltimore.
A historically efficient Ravens rushing attack did not hold back in the third quarter, scoring three touchdowns with the third coming on a 72-yard run by J.K. Dobbins. The Bengals were finally able to get a handle on Baltimore in the final period after the Ravens subbed out most of their starting line-up in preparation for the play-offs.
The Bengals finished the season with a record of four wins, eleven losses and a draw, missing the play-offs for the fifth straight season. While Sunday's result was a cap to a rather miserable season, there is hope in Cincinnati as young quarterback Joe Burrow showed potential before injuring his knee. The Bengals are hoping for a quick recovery and will look to add talent to the team in the off-season.
Hunt finished the season with four pass deflections, a sack, a blocked field goal and a fumble recovery. He played well in his modest role to start off the season with the New Orleans Saints and after being cut in week 5, joined the Bengals, where he was able to shine in a weak defensive line unit. The last stretch of the season should give teams plenty of tape to evaluate Hunt on and the Estonian will look for a new contract over the summer.
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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste