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Season Falling Apart After 21-7 Loss to Bengals at Home

Willis McGahee, top, is tackled by Cincinnati Bengals safety Dexter Johnson (28) and Rashad Jeanty 

While the Cincinnati Bengals defense has been abused all season, the Ravens decided on Sunday to help them get healthy. Giving up six turnovers and con tuning to play uninspired on offense, the Ravens dropped under .500 for the first time since opening day with a lackluster 21-7 loss Sunday at home to the rival Bengals. After going 4-2 in their first six games and having their sights set on the top of the AFC North, the Ravens have dropped three in a row and now the top of the AFC North is nothing more than a pipe dream.

The bigger problem might even be the future, as the offense is in a slump that it looks it might not recover from for quite some time. Steve McNair simply has lost it as a solid quarterback in this league. The well has run dry on the magic that made him a co-MVP at one point, and the last two weeks in losses to the Steelers and Bengals has shown that more than ever. Sunday against Cincy he was just 17-for-26 for 128 yards with no TD’s and one pick. He was replaced by Kyle Boller in the 4th quarter, and that switch might be the thing that coach Brian Billick needs to set in stone for the rest of the 2007 season.

As for the rest of the team, they allowed six total giveaways, two on picks and four on fumbles, meaning that in the two losses to the Bengals the team allowed 12 turnovers. Overall Baltimore had just 272 yards of offense, 66 rushing and 206 passing. Cincy’s offense was not spectacular, but it did enough in getting into range for Graham’s seven kicks. Carson Palmer was 23-for-34 for 271 yards, and the running game of Rudi Johnson and Kenny Watson combined to rush for 80 yards on 31 carries, and they were able to chew up some of the clock to keep the Ravens offense off the field. The Bengals held the ball for 35:42 while Baltimore only had 24:18 of possession.

The Ravens free falling season continues next Sunday when they host the 5-4 Browns at home for a 1pm kickoff.

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