Don’t hold your breath waiting for the Baltimore Ravens to put up big points with their new offensive weapons. The team’s offensive struggles continued as they fell to the Cincinnati Bengals, 15-10, at Paul Brown Stadium in Ohio on Sept 19.

Cincinnati’s offensive unit experienced its own problems, failing to reach the end zone and scoring all of its points off of field goals. But Baltimore turned the ball over four times, all on interceptions thrown by third-year quarterback Joe Flacco.

The Ravens lost the game when…

Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco was intercepted for the fourth time by Bengals safety Chinedum Ndukwe in the final minutes of the game. Cincinnati simply ran the ball to drain the rest of the clock and earn a gritty win.

Most Outstanding Player(s):

No one player stood out for the Bengals—instead, it was Cinci’s entire defensive unit that surprised fans and experts with stellar play to force Flacco’s second-worst statistical performance of his young career. Leon Hall, Ndukwe, Adam “Pac-man” Jones and Brandon Johnson each intercepted a pass by Flacco, while helping Cincinnati limit Baltimore to 259 yards and only one touchdown in the game.

Unsung Hero of the Game:

Kicker Mike Nugent would usually be the last player to shine on a Cincinnati roster filled with stars like Chad Ochocinco, Terrell Owens and Carson Palmer. But no individual player was more clutch for the team than Nugent, who converted all five field goal attempts to score all of their points.

More Game Notes:

Flacco completed 17 of 39 passes for 154 yards, one touchdown and four interceptions. His final passer rating was a terrible 23.8; the only time he had a worse rating was against the Steelers in 2008. Bengals veteran quarterback Carson Palmer wasn’t much better, completing 16 of 35 passes for 167 yards. He didn’t score a touchdown, but he also didn’t commit a turnover against a stingy Ravens defense.

Baltimore hasn’t surrendered a touchdown in two games and is currently ranked No. 1 in defense with only 406 yards allowed.

Next Up:
The Ravens (1-1 overall, 0-1 AFC North) will try to bounce back from their loss next Sunday they when host the Cleveland Browns (0-2 overall) in their home opener at M&T Bank Stadium. Cincinnati (1-1 overall, 1-0 AFC North) will hit the road to take on the Carolina Panthers (0-2 overall).

 

Perry Green

AFRO Sports Editor