CINCINNATI -- The Cincinnati Bengals' defense might have saved the team's season.
With the Baltimore Ravens looking to take the lead in the fourth quarter, the Bengals' defense came up with a historic play.
On third-and-goal from the Cincinnati 1-yard line, Cincy linebacker Logan Wilson punched the ball out of Baltimore quarterback Tyler Huntley's hands as Huntley extended the ball over the goal line for a potential touchdown. The ball rolled along the turf at Paycor Stadium before defensive end Sam Hubbard picked it up and returned it for a 98-yard touchdown.
The 14-point swing gave the Bengals a 24-17 lead with 11:39 remaining. It was the longest fumble return for a touchdown in postseason history.
And it came when Cincinnati needed it the most. The play was set up after Bengals safety Jessie Bates III initially knocked Huntley out of bounds two yards shy of the goal line after Huntley reeled off a 35-yard gain.
On the opening play of the second quarter, Cincinnati quarterback Joe Burrow found wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase, his former LSU teammate, for a 7-yard touchdown pass to give the Bengals a 9-0 lead with 14 minutes, 56 seconds left in the second quarter (they missed the PAT).
Burrow leaned on Chase early in the game. Of Burrow's first 15 pass attempts, six of them were in Chase's direction. He caught all six for 52 yards and that touchdown.
The connection between the two helped the Bengals overcome a penalty as Cincinnati approached the goal line. After Cincinnati left tackle Jonah Williams was whistled for holding to put the ball back on the Ravens' 19-yard line, Chase turned a Burrow pass into a 12-yard completion, putting the Bengals in a manageable distance before they linked up again for the game's first touchdown.
Burrow added a 1-yard sneak and 2-point conversion throw to Tee Higgins with 7:08 remaining in the the third quarter to put the Bengals up 17-10.