The Bengals had to hear all week long about how their first win this season against the Ravens was a fluke. Sunday they proved to the big bad Ravens that in 2009 they are the better team, putting a defensive beating on Joe Flacco and the Ravens in a 17-7 win to take control over Baltimore of the AFC North.
The win means that with two victories over Baltimore they basically have a three-game lead over them in the division. The Bengals move to 6-2 with the win, dropping the Ravens to 4-4. The Ravens have lost four of their last five games after starting the season 3-0.
The Bengals put the game away early, dominating the first quarter as they scored two touchdowns to go up 14-0, and they held the ball for 22 plays to just 10 for the Ravens. They had an opening drive of 73 yards that ended with a Carson Palmer six-yard score to Andre Caldwell, then on the next series went 68 yards for another score as Cedric Benson went in from a yard out.
Flacco was held in check, going just 18-for-32 for 195 yards with two picks, and he was sacked for times for minus 35 yards. He was pressured all day, and the Ravens offense had the ball for a total of just 20 minutes to 40 for Cincy. The only Ravens score came with 12:54 left when Ray Rice went in from two yards out. Other than that, the Ravens punted five times, had two picks, missed a field goal and then lost possession on downs.
The Bengals outgained Baltimore 369 to 215. Baltimore was just 1-for-10 on third downs, while the Bengals were 8-for-18. They also ran over the Ravens for 146 yards to just 55 for the Birds. Benson led the way for the Bengals with 117 yards and a touchdown.
One down note for Cincy, receiver Chris Henry broke his left forearm in the second quarter, when he made a catch and was immediately tackled. He ranks sixth on the team in receiving.