So today I have decided to try something a little different. I am going to give you an “in-game” look at the marquee matchup of Week 2 in my eyes, the AFC North battle, between the Baltimore Ravens and the Cincinnati Bengals. These are two teams that had very different types of opening games. The Bengals got blown out by an upstart New England Patriot’s team. While the Ravens came up with an outstanding defensive effort and took care of a business against a favored Jets team on the road.
Marvin Lewis is 9 and 5 all time against his former team, the Baltimore Ravens. And has a Bengals team, that went 6 and 0 against the rugged AFC North last season and is looking to win their 8th consecutive divisional matchup. Can the Bengals rebound today? Can Joe Flacco learn how to throw an accurate pass? We will find out in less than 5 minutes, as the Ravens travel to Paul Brown Stadium to take on the Who Deys in Cincinnati.
Today I will also have some esteemed guests contributing with their in-game thoughts. We will have “DC,” David Clark and Mr. “Beezy,” Chris O’Brien. Let the games begin.
The Bengals have looked solid overall in the first quarter. Carson is looking more and more comfortable as his offensive line is giving him ample time to get the ball out to his receiving weapons. Minus a few inaccurate throws to TO, he seems to be looking like a big time quarterback. In addition, Cedric Benson and Jordan Shipley have looked very solid. Benson has made some crucial 3rd down conversions and Shipley continues to catch everything thrown at him. I just wish Chad could resist talking trash at his opponents.
Joe Flacco continues to struggle and the Ravens offense looks in shambles. 0 of 4 for 0 yards sums it up for the former Delaware star. Their defense is still laying out the big hits, but are beginning to not get the push that they got last week. Could the short week be hurting them?
Mr. Breezy: “The offensive line (for the Bengals) is day and night compared to last week.”
DC: “My biggest surprise of this game is Joe Flacco’s inability to pass.”
The only way to describe this one so far is, “Ugly.” Both quarterbacks are under 100 yards passing. Both teams are under 150 total yards (the Ravens are under 80). It has been a defensive struggle. The Bengals have blown some key Red Zone opportunities and only go into the half up 6 to 0. But I will state this 1st half has been night and day compared to last weeks for Cincinnati.
The Who Deys must cut down on the penalties. 6 is entirely too many and will come back to bite them if it continues. Palmer also continues to struggle with his accuracy, though he has not been nearly as bad as Joe Flacco. Should be a down to the wire finish in the 2nd half though with these two bitter rivals.
Mr. Breezy: “The Bengals would be winning by a lot more if they didn’t shoot themselves in the foot with penalties.”
DC: “Ravens are lucky to only be down 6 to 0. If the Bengals keep shooting themselves in the feet with penalties, then they cannot expect to win this game.”
Joe Flacco has woken up folks (somewhat). Not good news for the Bengals. The Bengal’s offense has looked like they are struggling with communication. This is a major problem especially against a team with a defense like the Ravens. TO continues to struggle with the physicality of the AFC North. Palmer is continuing to be inconsistent. Plus the Bengals lucked out with a tripping penalty on Ray Lewis to save this crucial drive. I have a hunch this game will come down to the final drive.
Mr. Breezy: “The Bengals are just far too inconsistent.”
DC: “Bengals need to capitalize on a Joe Flacco interception. This drive at the end of the 3rd quarter will decide the outcome of the game.”
Really just a back and forth battle between two teams that really wanted this one. Neither team could really muster up any offensive fluidity. Possession and field goal kicking were the name of the game. And the Bengals took care of the ball, and hit their field goal chances.
Mr. Breezy: “This was a big time win for the Bengals. Though it was ugly, a win is a win.”
DC: “I will take the W, but Bratkowski has to develop a new game plan offensively.
Post Game Recap:
So there you have it. It was not pretty by any means. But the Bengals continued to exude AFC North dominance with a major victory in Week 2 over the rival Ravens. Mike Nugent and the Bengal’s defense are Co-MVP’s in this game in my eyes. Really, Joe Flacco could be considered the LVP (Least Valuable Player).
The man had 0 passing yards in the entire first quarter. Threw 4 picks. And had a quarterback rating of 23.8. Could it be time to consider giving Marc Bulger a go under center? And though the Bengals got the win, Carson completed just 16 of 35 passes, and missed open receivers time and time again. Can Palmer still play like the guy that we saw in 2005?
Taking care of the difference in this one. 4 interceptions to 0 gave the Bengals a big time win today.
Hope you enjoyed the first annual “In game” analysis.
Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.