The Baltimore Ravens offense wasted no time has started the 2012 regular season on fire. Quarterback Joe Flacco has played phenomenal and has been a big reason for the Ravens early success.
Baltimore jumped out to an early 10-0 lead over the Cincinnati Bengals thanks to a 46-yard field goal by Justin Tucker and a seven-yard scamper from star running back Ray Rice just six minutes later. Cincinnati answered with a 34-yard field goal from Mike Nugent before Flacco launched a perfectly timed missile 34-yards down the field to Anquan Boldin.
Needing to add points before halftime and cut into the Ravens lead, the Bengals put together one final drive. Cincinnati got the ball all the way down to the Bengals six-yard line before running in to a fourth-and-one. Cincinnati decided to go for it on fourth down and successfully converted with a hand-off to Green-Ellis.
‘The Law Firm’ gave a great individual effort to draf Ravens defenders with him as he spun for the goaline. The touchdown brought the Bengals without a score. The two teams went into the half with Baltimore leading, 17-10.
Baltimore started off the beginning of the third quarter a bit slow while the Bengals offense appeared to be finding their rhythm. Andy Dalton and company put together a 12 play, 79 yard drive that spanned over six minutes. During the drive, the Ravens defense began to slow down and showed some obvious wear and tear. It appeared that the Ravens defense was starting to break.
The Bengals capped the drive off with a 19-yard field goal by Nugent. Once Baltimore got their hands back on the ball, they picked up where they left off.
Flacco continued to play at a high level and he lobbed a beautiful pass to tight end Dennis Pitta for a ten-yard score that ended a 9 play, 89 yard drive. The Ravens came right back down the field and Tucker added a 40 yard field goal.
Cincinnati was fighting to stay in the game and came out passing at the end of the third. The Bengals were down two touchdowns and needed to make something happen. Dalton came out firing but things continued to go the Ravens way as a tipped pass found it’s way into Ed Reed’s hands and he took the interception 34 yards to the house extending the Ravens lead.
Baltimore ended the final quarter leading Cincinnati 34-13.
The wheels were falling off for the Bengals going into the fourth and it only continued to get worse. On the Bengals first possession of the last quarter, Dalton was scrambling for a first-down before diving for some extra yards and taking a big hit from a group of Ravens defenders. Dalton fumbled the ball and the Ravens recovered. Dalton appeared to be shaken up on the play.
Baltimore took advantage of the turnover and a pass interference call in the endzone to take the ball down to the one-yard line where Ray Rice punched it in. That took the score to 41-13 and the game was all but over. The Ravens never looked back and continued to dominate the Bengals for the remainder of the game.
The final score was 44-13.
Flacco led the game in passing with 299 yards and two touchdowns on 21-for-29 passing. His quarterback rating was 128.4. Bengals running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis was the game’s leading rusher with 91 yards and a touchdown, while Bengals receiver Andrew Hawkins was the game’s top pass catcher. Hawkins had 8 catches for 80 yards out of the slot.
Next week, Flacco and company take on the Philadelphia Eagles, while the Bengals will take on their AFC North rivals the Cleveland Browns.