BALTIMORE -- Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh knew linebacker Elvis Dumervil was going to make a huge impact at some point this season. That moment came at the most crucial time to keep Baltimore's playoff hopes alive. Dumervil forced a fumble by Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton with just over a minute left and the Ravens recovered the ball to preserve a 19-14 victory on Sunday. Dumervil, who has been dealing with a foot injury, was active for the first time since Oct. 9 against the Redskins. He quickly reminded the Ravens of how much they missed his presence. "Finally, I was able to get out there," Dumervil said. "The coverage was great all game. I appreciate (defensive coordinator) Dean Pees trusting me." Baltimore snapped a five-game losing streak against Cincinnati, dating to Nov. 10, 2013. The Ravens (6-5) also remained tied with the Pittsburgh Steelers for first place in the AFC North. "That's always a tough rivalry and it's really good to finally break the string (of losses) against those guys," Harbaugh said. "They've gotten five times in a row. For us to come out with this victory is obviously very satisfying. I thought our team played exceptionally hard, exceptionally physical and played with poise throughout the course of the game." Baltimore kicker Justin Tucker became the first player since 2012 to make three field goals of 50 yards or longer in a half. Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco completed 25 of 36 passes for 234 yards with a touchdown and interception. "In order for us to take the next step and be a championship team, we're not going to survive playing like that," Flacco said. The Bengals (3-7-1) were playing without two of their top playmakers in receiver A.J. Green and (hamstring) and running back Giovani Bernard (knee). Cincinnati now faces an uphill climb to qualify for the postseason for the sixth straight year. "We had been able to control it ourselves and now we need some help," Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said. "But it's not done. We have to do our end now. We have to win the last five ball games to have any chance of going to the playoffs." After struggling throughout the first half, Dalton was much more effective in the third quarter. He pulled the Bengals within 16-9 with a 3-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Eifert, but kicker Mike Nugent missed the extra point. "We're not going to get down or feel sorry for ourselves, or blame each other, point fingers" Eifert said. "We're going to keep working and hope to get a little bit of help here down the stretch and win the rest of our games." Baltimore responded with Tucker's fourth field goal from 36 yards that provided a 19-9 lead with 12:16 remaining in the game. The Bengals edged closer on the next possession on 36-yard kick by Nugent. Cincinnati drove to the Baltimore 21 with 1:05 left, but Dumervil made the play of the game with the forced fumble that was recovered by Lawrence Guy. Baltimore took a safety to end the game. Dalton completed 26 of 48 passes for 283 yards with the touchdown. "This was a typical Bengals game against Baltimore," Dalton said. "It always seems to come down to the final minutes, and both teams have a chance to win. We have to find a way to win one game. That's our goal now." The Ravens opened a 7-0 lead on the opening drive on a 14-yard pass from Flacco to Breshad Perriman, who was not even targeted last week against Dallas. It was the fourth straight game in which the Bengals allowed a touchdown on the opening drive. Tucker boosted the lead on a 52-yard field goal following an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Ravens receiver Steve Smith against the Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict, who appeared to instigate the contact. "Hopefully, this is something that will carry our team all the way to the playoffs" Tucker said. The Bengals pulled to within 10-3 on a 23-yard field goal by Nugent. That drive was extended when Ravens safety Eric Weddle dropped an easy interception. Tucker made two more field goals from 57 and 54 yards and Baltimore led 16-3 at the half. "When you're fighting a kid in the school yard and he is always beating you, and you finally punch him in the mouth, maybe he'll quit picking on you," said Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs, who had two sacks. "We finally got over the Bengals hump." NOTES: The Ravens activated second-year TE Nick Boyle just days after he completed a 10-week suspension for violating the league's drug policy. Boyle wasn't targeted but made several key blocks. ... The Bengals used Tyler Ott as the long-snapper after Clark Harris was ruled out with a groin injury. Ott was initially signed to the practice squad Tuesday. ... The Bengals activated RB Cedric Peerman from injured reserve. Peerman, a seven-year veteran, broke his arm in the third preseason game.
Dumervil's strip allows Ravens to end skid versus Bengals
The Sports Xchange | Nov 27