Bengals/Ravens: Postgame Pros and Cons


An ugly 15-10 win over Baltimore, but a win nonetheless. Let’s take a closer look.


-This is Cincinnati’s 8th straight AFC North win. Considering where this franchise has come from and the talent-level in the AFC North, this needs to be celebrated. Marvin Lewis may have his deficiencies, but he is red-hot in the AFC North as of late.

-The Nuge! I was rooting for Mike Nugent throughout the preseason because I remembered his talent and the clutch-kicks of his Buckeye days. His promise showed up today. Nugent went a perfect 5-for-5 today, hitting each kick with plenty of accuracy and distance. I don’t think Nugent will disappear in big moments and that has to make you feel pretty good about the kicking game.

-The Cincinnati defense. A week after tackling like a bunch of senior citizens and failing to pressure Tom Brady and his mullet at all, the Bengals defense restored the roar. Cincinnati had four picks and a fairly consistent pass rush. I like the looks of the Michael Johnson-Geno Atkins-Robert Geathers-Antwan Odom pass rush. And I’d like to see what Carlos Dunlap could do as well.

-Bernard Scott. Scott gave the Bengals a big lift with his kick returns and continues to be explosive in limited opportunities. I’d like to see more plays set up for him, and perhaps some formations with both Scott and Cedric Benson in the same backfield.

-The Bengals backups. Brandon Johnson played well in place of Keith Rivers and Morgan Trent and Chinedum Ndukwe made some plays in the secondary. Cincinnati’s depth is encouraging and should continue to be a strength as the year goes on. (It would also be nice if the starters never got injured. I’d take that too.)


Penalties, penalties, penalties. Words can not express how disgusted I am with Cincinnati’s repeated lapses in discipline. As Dave Lapham pointed out on the radio broadcast, in-game penalties (holding, interference, etc.) are bound to happen in the heat of the moment, but pre-snap penalties (false starts, 12-member huddles, etc.) are inexcusable. Cincinnati had several of the latter. I’d also like to have someone send a Tweet to Chad Ochocinco suggesting that he should donate money to a charity every time he commits an infraction. Ochocinco commits far too many penalties for a veteran.

-The offensive rhythm. Yes, this is a Ravens defense that is going to be causing headaches for opponents all year. But Cincinnati should have been better in this area. Carson Palmer and the receivers struggled to get on the same page and there were way too many misfires in the passing game. The running game also stalled at some moments. Hopefully, things will improve as the season progresses.

-The pass protection. The offensive line was steady on some plays, but far too unstable overall. I’d still like to see Andre Smith play his way into he starting lineup because I believe he has significantly better upside than Dennis Roland. But it’s hard to count on Smith for much of anything these days.

-The crowd. Things certainly got loud when they needed too, but I also heard too many “boos” when things weren’t working . True fans support their team through it all and bite their tongue until it bleeds before booing. Children please.

That’s about it. With the overall record at 1-1 and Carolina next on the schedule, Cincinnati seems to have gotten things back on track. Let’s hope they stay that way.