Ravens One Step Closer to the AFC North Title?

It’s a small, but tasty sample … it’s only Week-1, but to win a division opener is sugary, indeed. You might be aware of this, but teams who lose their division openers tend to keep on producing losses within their division. This is so important that historically, division opener losers only have an 11% chance of winning the division. Now that is a seriously reduced probability … Sorry Browns, sorry Bengals but your odds to with the AFC North are going to plummet- check 5Dimes Sportsbook for updated NFL division betting odds in the days to come.

So, it’s a good thing that not only did the Baltimore Ravens open up with a win against division rivals, the Cincinnati Bengals, but they did so with boot-to-ant style, crushing the boys from Ohio 20 to nothing.

Big Baltimore ‘D’

Jeremy Hill opened up gashing through the middle for good yardage. This made it look like we were in for an epic division battle, but the Ravens defense snapped into gear getting immediate pressure on Dalton, even putting him to the turf for a sack.

New addition, Danny Woodhead helped Flacco and company march down the field, even making an amazing, spinning, one-handed grab to put the Ravens within easy Justin Tucker field goal range, striking first blood.

Dalton and the gang marched down the field into Ravens’ territory, only to have a 1 and 10 pass deflected by ILB Patrick Onwuasor and picked off by Baltimore new-comer, Brandon Carr, who ran the interception back to mid field. The Bengals managed to get away from that turnover without it resulting in a score … but it was a sign of things to come.

Dalton and the Bengals heroically march down from endzone to endzone in the second quarter and the feeling was that they were at least going to tie the game up at three … if not take a 4-point lead. Not if C.J Mosely has anything to say about it! Dalton passed over the top, targeting Brandon LaFell, but Mosely stretched out and snatched the ball out of the air (in the endzone) made his way back out past the 25, saving the Ravens a score against.

A few plays later we see the pure speed of Jeremy Macklin. Running a nice little post route, he cuts across the center of the field and Flacco finds him … and we’re off to the races. No one can catch him and the Ravens have a 10-point lead.

Did We Say Big Baltimore ‘D’ Yet?

It’s still the 2nd QTR. A minute and thirty-eight seconds left in the half, Dalton tries to go downfield but is hit by Suggs, the ball deflecting off #55’s helmet with Webb in the right place at the right time to snatch up an interception and plow his way down to the 2-yard line. A couple of seconds later and West is plowing his way into the endzone, making it two Baltimore Ravens touchdowns in less than 30 seconds.

Just a minute before the Bengals thought they’d be going into the locker room at halftime with just a 3-point deficit at home … and suddenly they are 17 – Zip!

Interceptions and Fumbles and Field Goals

A long story short, the Defense holds tough and the Bengals don’t get any lucky breaks through the 3rd and 4th Qtrs. The Ravens do a bit of sacking Dalton, making the Bengals punt a few times, picking off Dalton again. Making the Bengals punt … then causing Dalton to fumble. Get another Tucker field goal Some more punts and the Cincinnati Bengals are completely demoralized in their season opener at home.

Victory is sweet. And it tastes even better when it comes in the form of crushing a division rival’s dreams of starting the season strong! Next week another division rival gets to taste the pain. The Browns are getting let out of the dog pound … just to get pecked to pieces by the newly sharpened beaks of the Baltimore Ravens in M&T Bank Stadium.

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