Photo Courtesy: USA Today

A.J. Green, Bengals Power Past Ravens 34-23

September 14, 2018 - 12:13 am

By Joe Schiller

Following a cakewalk against the Buffalo Bills in Week 1, the Baltimore Ravens faced a true road test on a short week against the Cincinnati Bengals.

In an early season matchup for first place in the AFC North, the Bengals used a 28-point first half, led by wide receiver A.J. Green, to power past the Ravens 34-23.

Green failed to score a touchdown against the Ravens in two meetings last season but wasted no time making his mark. Less than five minutes into the game, Dalton connected with Green for a four-yard touchdown – one of three times in the first half.

A Jimmy Smith-less secondary stood little chance as the Bengals jumped out to a 21-0 second-quarter lead in a game that was shaping up to be a blowout.

The Ravens’ offense found life trending towards the halftime and cut the lead in half to 28-14 with one-yard touchdowns from Buck Allen and Mark Andrews. It was Andrews’ first career touchdown reception.

And despite a deficit, the Ravens gained momentum. The defense forced four consecutive punts coming out of halftime. Justin Tucker nailed a 55-yard field goal followed by a beautiful 21-yard strike to John Brown to make it a five-point game, but the turnover battle and missed opportunities proved to be the difference.

Flacco notched three turnovers – two interceptions and one costly fumble. The pass rush was virtually non-existent and the defense failed to record a single sack on Andy Dalton after a dominating performance in Week 1 against Nathan Peterman and Josh Allen.

The run game was absent for the second consecutive game as Flacco led the offensive attack, finishing 32-of-55 with 376 passing yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions. Alex Collins led all Ravens rushers with 35 yards on nine carries but Buck Allen surprisingly received the bulk of the touches down the final stretch of the game.

Linebacker C.J. Mosley exited the game in the first quarter with a bone bruise and did not return. He was replaced by rookie fifth-round pick Kenny Young.

With the loss, the Ravens fall to 1-1 on the season and have a long rest before hosting the Broncos on September 23rd. The schedule doesn’t get any easier, however, with three road games to follow.