Bengals Shock Ravens at Home; 17-14

bengal

The Cincinnati Bengals have been making a living this season staying close and finishing off opponents in the remaining moments.

They did it again but this time to division rival Baltimore.

In a duel for early possession of first place in the AFC North, Carson Palmer threw a 20 yard touchdown pass to Andre Caldwell with 22 seconds left to give his team their fourth win.

The Ravens led at halftime 7-3 but the league’s third ranked offense was ineffective as they only gained 113 yards. Joe Flacco threw an interception near the goal line on the team’s first drive as he tried to squeeze a pass in between two defenders to Todd Heap.

Their only scoring in the half was on the strength of Ed Reed’s 52 yard interception return for a touchdown.

Cedric Benson ran hard today and was impressive as he gained 120 yards and broke free for a 28 yd. touchdown run. Today he became the first player to notch a 100 yd performance in 40 games against the Raven defense.

In the fourth quarter Ray Rice took a screen pass from Flacco and used his left arm to stay upright and he sprinted into the end zone to help Baltimore retake the lead 14-10.

But it was Palmer who had the final say as he drove the Bengals 80 yards with the help of three penalty flags and helped Cincinnati pull the upset at M & T Bank Stadium.

Baltimore has now dropped two straight and fall into a second place tie with the Pittsburgh Steelers (3-2). The Ravens will travel to undefeated Minnesota next week and attempt to get back on track.

Points to Ponder

How did they lose this game?

They were beaten on both sides of the ball today. The defense held them to 17 but in a way I’m glad that the defense’s rushing record has finally been put to rest. Let’s be honest the Giants broke that last season when all three runners ran all over the Baltimore defense. Benson ran with conviction today and the Bengals stuck to their plan and it payed off nicely for them.

The offense looked lost and void of direction but I’ll save that for the next question. And finally ten penalties, (three on the last drive) simply doomed them.

What was the Ravens offensive game plan today and did it succeed?

It was clear early on that they wanted to emphasize the run game. They didn’t do badly (18 – 82 – 4.6 per rush) but Willis McGahee wasn’t used at all. Each man in the backfield has a role and it doesn’t have to be an all or nothing situation.

Joe Flacco checked down all day today as the Bengals dropped both safeties to take away the deep ball. I can only think of one attempt deep all day as Flacco overthrew a wide open Mark Clayton. Derrick Mason wasn’t targeted at all. It was difficult to tell if the Bengals double teamed him but he was a non-factor and it had a great impact on the offense. One first down with three minutes left would have sealed the game, they couldn’t deliver. Offense really had no tempo to it.

At times today it looked like a game straight out of 2001 as the offense morphed into some sort of Cavanaugh clone. The calls were very conservative and they took only one or two shots downfield all day. They need to re-establish their identity quickly, whatever that is.

The biggest stat of the game was third down conversions. They were 3 of 11 and that may be the biggest reason why they struggled scoring.

What’s with all the yellow flags?

Baltimore leads the league in penalties. The Ravens follow up a performance last week in New England where they were tagged with nine, with today’s ten penalty tally. Let’s be honest fans. I don’t want to hear about conspiracies. The only one you could question would have been Frank Walker across the middle. But Ray Lewis’ penalty knocking Mr. Twitter’s helmet off was simply stupid. It pushed Palmer’s offense 15 yards closer to the end zone.

I’ve heard the excuses before about how aggressive teams will get more flags sometimes and I buy that to an extent. But the tough disciplinarian Coach Harbaugh needs to tighten things up. This team continues to shoot itself in the foot. Even though they didn’t play well all day they still had a chance to win and they did everything they could to help the Bengals score.

Who was the offensive player of the game?

That’s easy. Ray Rice did everything today. He rushed for 69 yards and his heads up play gave the offense their only score of the day. He also led the team in receptions, which may not be a good thing.

Who was the defensive player of the game?

That’s harder. The defensive line was pushed around. Ray Lewis had ten tackles but his dumb penalty was inexcusable. The secondary was beaten early then had to resort to holding because of a lack of talent. Domonique Foxworth has been a huge disappointment in the first five games. I guess if I had to pick a player I could go with Ed Reed who showed he can still ball hawk and he forced a fumble. But didn’t he have a penalty also on that last drive? I guess I’d have to leave it blank.

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8 Responses to “Bengals Shock Ravens at Home; 17-14”

  1. mindpinball says:

    I agree with your recap, but that penalty on the final drive was called on Reed, but it was actually Frank Walker. Thankfully, to a man, the Ravens didn’t blame the officials for the loss; and they can’t dwell on it with a trip to the Vikings looming.

  2. spike says:

    yeah, it was actually Walker (penalty gatherer extraordinaire) that did that. If it wasn’t for Rice & Reed, this game would have been a shut-out. the rest of the team (ok Lewis did well until the last 30 seconds) was asleep and played worse than the Bills.

    Can someone explain to me why McGahee wasn’t used!?? Sure Rice did well, but we are not a single back team for good reasons. And for real, when is our D going to come together. They don’t communicate well and are getting beat EVERY single game.

    Also, it seems if you shut down Mason, Flacco looks and plays like a drunk Boller. There’s got to be more. This game showed the DEEP weaknesses in the Ravens and if we finish 8-8, it will be because of the team playing like it did today.

  3. Stupid penalties says:

    Stupid penalies are killing us. Coach John has to to put the heat on. Think Smart!

  4. Mongo says:

    The Offense was off kilter all day. The deep pass attempt to Clayton late in the 4th was pretty arrogant of Cam. Seemed like he wanted to prove something instead of going for a higher-percentage shorter yardage play that would have picked up the first down and continued to chew up the clock.

    Carson Palmer was on the field ALL DAY, and that can never be a good thing.

    How will we fare when we face even better QBs backed by better defenses? I gotta admit, I had us pegged for 2 W’s against Cincy this year. Wave bye-bye to to 12-4 and the Division or even 11-5, and start clawing for that wild card yet again.

  5. I had to go back and rewatch the tape and do some checking because that last penalty seemed confusing as to whom it was actually called on.
    The play was technically called on Reed, but it was Walker’s penalty.

    I guess it doesn’t really matter since the Ravens imploded on the Bengals final drive.

    It’s only Week 6 so I don’t get too high or low but it’s very clear now what the Ravens deficiences are. Now it’s up to the coaching to try and minimize them and for the players to step up and execute. It won’t get easier traveling to play an undefeated Vikings team.

  6. starrc10 says:

    I am a Vikings fan visiting from Vikings Gab. How do you see the Ravens responding from this sort of thing? How did they respond after their first loss?

    I know they are an emotional team (especially on D) so I fear they are going to head up North ready to kick it in high gear and I am just hoping the Vikes will rise to the occasion.

  7. starrc10 don’t worry the ravens are falling apart you will stomp our asses in minnesota next sunday.

  8. Starcc10 don’t worry the ravens are falling apart u will stomp us.

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