J.K. Dobbins Calls out Ravens Coaches, Says They Beat Bengals with Lamar Jackson

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 16, 2023

Baltimore Ravens running back J.K. Dobbins runs with the ball in the first half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game against the Cincinnati Bengals in Cincinnati, Sunday, Jan. 15, 2023. (AP Photo/Jeff Dean)
AP Photo/Jeff Dean

Fans weren't the only ones perplexed by some of the Baltimore Ravens' play-calling decisions in Sunday's loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.

Ravens running back J.K. Dobbins lit into the decision to not give him the ball at the goal line in a critical fourth-quarter sequence that saw Tyler Huntley fumble on a quarterback sneak, with Bengals defensive end Sam Hubbard scooping up the ball and taking in 98 yards for what became a game-winning score.

"He should have never been in that situation," Dobbins told reporters of Huntley. "I don't get a single carry. I didn't get a single carry. He should never have been in that situation. I believe I would have put it in the end zone, again."

Setting up with 1st-and-goal at the 2-yard line, the Ravens passed on first down, handed the ball off to Gus Edwards on second and then ran the Huntley sneak from 1 on third down. As Huntley attempted to reach out and stretch the ball across the plane, Bengals defenders ripped it out at the last, allowing Hubbard to break the NFL playoff record for longest return touchdown (98 yards).

"If we'd have had Lamar [Jackson], we'd have won too," Dobbins added.

Jackson missed Sunday's game—his sixth consecutive—as he continues to recover from a PCL sprain.

Huntley was largely solid in Jackson's stead, throwing for 226 yards and two touchdowns while adding 54 yards on the ground. However, both of his turnovers led to Bengals touchdowns in a one-possession game, and he failed to lead the Ravens to a game-tying score on three straight possessions in the fourth quarter after the Baltimore defense got stops.

Dobbins was the Ravens' leading rusher with 62 yards on 13 carries but got only one more attempt than Gus Edwards, who finished with just 39 yards.

"I'm a guy who feels like I should be on the field all the time," Dobbins said. "It's the playoffs. Why am I not out there?"

Dobbins, who missed all of 2021 with a torn ACL, was limited to seven games this season because of ongoing problems with his surgically repaired left knee. He was wildly effective down the stretch after returning from a second procedure on his knee, but it's possible Ravens coaches were understandably wary of giving him a massive workload.

The Ohio State product will be in the final year of his rookie contract during the 2023 season. It'll be interesting to see if his comments create any residual bad blood.