The Cincinnati Bengals are picking up steam. They opened the season with a series of games where they muscled their way to victories via last minute heroics on offense or incredible stands on defense. The rolled over the Chicago Bears and came into today’s Baltimore Ravens tilt hoping to rack up a sweep against the hated AFC North nemesis.
The Bengals took to opening kickoff and orchestrated a masterpiece of a drive which included gashing runs by Cedric Benson and pinpoint accurate throws by Carson Palmer to a bevy of receivers. The drive culminated in a déjà vu moment as Palmer threaded a laser through traffic to Andre Caldwell.
The Defense for the home team came to play as well. The initial drive by the Ravens was stalled early as running back Ray Rice was stone walled for a two yard loss. A few completions, penalties and a near interception by cornerback Leon Hall later and the Ravens punted the ball away to the Bengals who saw Chad Ochocinco put on an arial display on consecutive plays as he leaped and contorted his body to make two amazing grabs. The Bengals offensive line played superbly as Palmer enjoyed time to look deep on several occasions and Benson was able to cut back off of blocks to gouge for extra yards on a regular basis. A bit of razzle dazzle and missed tackles by Ed Reed and others gave a big play on a reverse as he blasted his way to the three yard line. Cedric Benson finished it off with his sixth touchdown of the year and a fourteen point lead as the first quarter trickled down under three minutes to play.
The Ravens couldn’t get anything going on offense and didn’t help themselves at all as Joe Flacco’s first drive deep ball to the end zone was snatched out of the air via perfect coverage by Jonathan Joseph. The struggles plagued the Baltimore signal caller all afternoon and he missed the mark on several passes and could only find true rhythm on one late fourth quarter drive that yielded the visitors’ sole touchdown in a 17-7 Bengals triumph. In fact, Flacco was literally running for his life as he took off and ran the wrong way for nearly twenty yards as he bobbed and weaved around a host of Bengals chasers. He was dropped and it was second down and twenty-nine yards to go.
The victory came at a steep price as big play wide receiver Chris Henry broke his fore arm and is likely out for quite a while, if not the rest of the year. Cincinnati moves to 6-2 for the first time since the playoff run of 2005. Things are clicking on all cylinders, but still not yet for a complete game consistently. Cincinnati is undefeated (4-0) inside the AFC North and next week’s contest versus the Steelers is poised to be a huge game for both sides. The Bengals are for real. Let’s keep it rolling!
About the Author
Written by Daryl Miller
I'm a lifelong sports fan. From short track auto racing, hockey, baseball, football and everything else...I love it.