The Ravens ended the Bengals' furious fourth-quarter rally when rookie Pernell McPhee sacked Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton on fourth down in the final minute of the game. With the Bengals at the Ravens' 17-yard line and threatening to tie the game, McPhee beat left tackle Andrew Whitworth on the edge to take down Dalton.
McPhee, a fifth-round draft pick out of Mississippi State, told The Carroll County Times there was a reason he got such a good jump against one of the top offensive linemen in the game. In watching film, McPhee and the Ravens noticed that Dalton had a tendency to let the play clock wind down to five seconds before tapping center Kyle Cook's hip. Then, Dalton would look to his left and take the snap.
"I got a good get-off," McPhee told the paper. "I just knew they would snap it every time after he tapped the center's hip. I was paying attention to that. I timed it up pretty good, 100 miles per hour."
If this is true, it's strange that McPhee would publicly let Dalton know about this pre-snap tell. The Ravens could use that when they play at Cincinnati in six weeks for the regular-season finale.
It's also strange that the Ravens, who only had two sacks, only took advantage of this on the last play of the game. Dalton seemed to be the one who had a read on the Ravens' defense in the fourth quarter, when he threw for 185 yards.
Whitworth told The Cincinnati Enquirer there was a cadence issue on the last play.