This was a very winnable game from the get go. Cincinnati has always matched up well with the Ravens, and both teams are not anywhere near their best at this point. But still, with the Bengals playing on the road and against a divisional opponent, nothing is for sure. The Bengals pulled out a 21-7 win yesterday in Baltimore however, beating quickly aging and equally banged up Ravens squad whos offensive woes are nearly equal to the defensive woes our Bengals usually endure.
But, there is something very bittersweet about this win over Baltimore, and don’t get me wrong, a win is just that and I am glad the Bengals did not lie down again on the road, but there are some oddities about this contest that should keep Bengals fans alarmed despite the win.
Since we whiffed on the preview last week, lets do a positives/ negatives slant on our recap today……
- Shayne Graham – Even though Graham did not have to boot one outside of 35 yards, he did nail a franchise record 7 field goals in this game which accounted for all of the Bengals scoring. His 7 FG’s break the previous Bengal record set by Doug Pelfrey in a 20-17 overtime victory at Seattle in 1994.
- Chris Henry is back – catches by Henry set up some of those Graham field goals and the Bengals were able to stretch the field once again, as much as I despise Henry as a person for his off the field idiocy, you cannot deny his talent.
- Defense – I’m hesitant to give the defense too much credit but holding an opponent (even Baltimore) under 10 points on their turf deserves some accolades. Of course 6 turnovers really helped as well.
- Still no running game – Rudi looked very old…..again and if he is playing hurt the guy needs to ask out. Plain and simple, because he is not helping this team right now. 22 carries for 46 yards does not cut it in this league. Rudi last four games played: 52 carries/74 yards
- Red Zone Offense – Sure, the field goals were there, and they were enough. But more often than not, they will not be enough. This team really need to figure out a way into the end zone at least 2 of those 7 trips?
One thing I want to say is that this win will be a false confidence boost for the Bengals. Just like their win over Baltimore last season here at home when the defense “played really well” and all of a sudden we were a contender. No, we were not then, we are not now. I like winning, don’t get me wrong, but lets see if we can beat someone other than the Ravens this year (and the Jets). That being said, can we play Baltimore every week?