Unbeaten Cincinnati Bengals still searching for true identity - NFL Nation

Joe Flacco

Joe Flacco

They had plenty of help from their defense that sacked Flacco three times in the first quarter, one by rookie right end Sam Hubbard for his first National Football League sack subbing for Michael Johnson when Johnson was lost for the game with a knee injury.

But the Ravens' resurgence quickly faltered under Flacco. But in the team's last gasp, Flacco could not deliver the excellence he had supplied in abundance just days earlier. "That's a big one - puts us 2-0 to start the year and gives us a leg up in the division".

Of course, the last time these two teams met, the Bengals beat the Ravens in Baltimore in Week 17 previous year on a late touchdown pass from Andy Dalton to Tyler Boyd.

The Ravens (1-1) were coming off one of their most impressive games, a 47-3 win over Buffalo that was the third-largest margin of victory in franchise history. Andy Dalton hit Tyler Boyd for the game-winning 49-yard touchdown on 4th and 12 to stun the crowd at M&T Bank Stadium. Ironically enough the Bengals were the reason why the Bills won the AFC wild card last season after taking down the Ravens in Week 17. A crucial third-down penalty on cornerback Tavon Young averted a three-and-out for Cincinnati, and it marched downfield with much of the precision it had earlier.

The Ravens never got out of the hole Green created for them. On 11 targets, he completed eight passes for 74 yards with a touchdown and six first downs.

The Ravens have a pretty good secondary, and they had no chance against Green.

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UPDATE: Mixon returned in the fourth quarter and carried the ball once before going back to the sideline again, then popped up in the lineup again a few more times. Left end Carlos Dunlap hit Flacco's arm as he was throwing long.

Flacco finished 32-of-55 passing for 376 yards and two touchdowns with two interceptions. After a three-and-out against the Mosley-led defense, he found the Mosley-less defense to be as different as night and day.

In what started as an ugly, mistake-filled affair, the Bengals got great field position after Joe Flacco's poor interception.

"Andy played unbelievable", said Green, who caught a 38-yard touchdown pass.

Young, working against the seven-time Pro Bowl selection in the slot, could not keep up, too far behind to lay even a finger. Green only caught five passes in the game, but he punished Baltimore down in the red zone, demonstrating why opposing defenses shouldn't match up with him one-on-one out of the slot; at first with a crossing route and then in the second quarter with an out route.

With top Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith serving a four-game suspension, Green totalled five catches for 69 yards, notching all three TDs from the slot. Yes, the Ravens limited Buffalo to just 153 yards, marking just the second time since 2012 that the Ravens have held a team under 155 yards but we also must admit that the Bills were truly very bad. Up 21-0, Cincinnati already had almost as many yards of total offense (151) as the Bills finished with Sunday (153).

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