Ravens can't recover from Bengals' dominant 1st half

Refocused, NFL Week 2: Cincinnati Bengals 34, Baltimore Ravens 23 | NFL Analysis

Flacco was strip-sacked by Bengals safety Shawn Williams (who earlier had an interception) in the final minutes, and Cincinnati was able to close it out for the team's first 2-0 start since 2015, when they started out the season 8-0. The Bengals were ready for the package of plays the Ravens had for rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson, which forced Joe Flacco to run an offense without all the bells and whistles - and he struggled as a result.

Overall, Flacco completed 25 of 34 passes for 236 yards with three touchdowns in little more than a half.

This effectively allowed Cincinnati to seal the game with a field goal after Baltimore had reduced their lead in the second half to just five points at one stage, in a game that should have been a blowout.

Thanks to four first-half touchdown passes from Andy Dalton - three of them to A.J. Green - the Bengals stormed out to a comfortable lead before downing the Baltimore Ravens, 34-23. On third-and-goal at the Ravens' 7-yard line, Green caught one in the end zone for his third touchdown.

Once again, Green proved to be too deadly for the Baltimore Ravens defense to cover, racking up touchdown after touchdown for grateful fantasy football owners. John Brown hauled in a gorgeous 21-yard TD throw from Flacco to cut the lead to five points. They went 6-9-1 two seasons ago and 7-9 past year. He sent them to another loss on Thursday night by throwing four more, getting the best of a defense that has bedeviled him for much of his career.

After a Terrell Suggs penalty on third-and-13 kept the Bengals' next possession alive, Green beat Marlon Humphrey from 7 yards out at 13:02 of the second period. It was clear he hadn't lost much as a player, but he had just four touchdowns in 2016.

After a first-quarter interception, his 75th since the 2013 season for the second-most in the league, Flacco tightened up and nearly pulled off an impressive comeback until Bengals safety Shawn Williams forced a turnover to effectively end the game. They return to action at home against the Denver Broncos Sept. 23.

Mosley left in the first quarter with a knee injury the Ravens later described as a bone bruise.

Bengals: Preston Brown was inactive with an injured right ankle, leaving Cincinnati without two top linebackers.

Baltimore: Flacco and the Ravens offense took almost an entire half of football to get into a groove, and by then it was too late. Later, Flacco short-hopped a fourth-down pass intended for receiver Willie Snead, and he had another back-foot throw that should have been an interception dropped by Bengals defensive back Dre Kirkpatrick.



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