For the Baltimore Ravens, a win is a win. The Ravens beat the Bengals in less than thrilling fashion.
The Baltimore Ravens started the game with an incredible touchdown drive. An offense that made things difficult all season long drove down the field with ease. The Ravens started this game with a statement.
We saw the Ravens add tempo to their game plan. With a no huddle attack, Joe Flacco was able to get into an early rhythm. The Bengals seemed a bit surprised to see the quicker pace. With a healthy mix of run and pass plays, the Ravens had an 11 play drive for 75 yards. The impressive drive ended with a sensational grab in the end zone by Breshad Perriman.
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The offense fizzled out a bit after that. Baltimore had to settle for three Justin Tucker field goals. Tucker made all three field goals from beyond 50 yards. The first half could not have gone much better for the Ravens though. They lead 16-3 at halftime.
Things were going pretty good for the purple and black but this team makes everything difficult. The Ravens ended up winning the hard way. They went up to an early 10-0 win. Instead of putting them away when it was 16-3, the Ravens won 19-12 flirting with overtime.
When this game started we expected a close game. The Ravens always play it tight with division rivals (or any team). The Ravens started the game out as if they had a plan. Everything was going their way. Ravens fans have actually learned to hold back their excitement for a10-0 lead early in the game. Not celebrating too eagerly about a 10-0 lead has become a conditioned response for the Baltimore Ravens.
The Ravens did everything they could to keep the Bengals in the game. That’s how it seemed any way. A good start gave the Ravens control of the game. Their grasp on the lead got awfully flimsy by the end however. The Ravens had every chance to put the game out of reach and they didn’t do it.
The Bottom Line:
Baltimore had four scoring drives in the first half. While three of the them were Justin Tucker field goals, at least they accomplished something. It took the Ravens until eight minutes into the fourth quarter to score another field goal. The offense went away in the second half.
This was a typical Ravens game and that’s the problem.The Ravens are fighting for a playoff spot, yet they average less than 20 points scored per game. The Ravens seemingly always either start fast and cool down or start slowly and crank it in gear for a crazy finish. This is not a team that can keep the foot on the gas pedal for sixty minutes. While it is nice to get a win, especially against a Bengals team that has beaten Baltimore five straight times, the game left plenty of things to be frustrated about. The Ravens need to play better when they go against steeper competition.