Give the Ravens credit, they needed to beat the Bengals to get back to the top of the AFC North and they did just that.  Their defense slowed down a dangerous red haired rookie quarterback and balance returned to their offensive game plan.

Here are my thoughts on the Ravens 31-24 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals.

  • Slow start – Let’s not forget that the Ravens once again put themselves in a hole.  Thankfully, it was just a one score hole that didn’t seem to hold them back after the first quarter.  The Ravens were flagged early for a delay of game and the boo birds started chirping early.  Not to be Debbie Downer, but I just wanted to point out another slow start.
  • Torrey Smith emerging as a star – It was a record breaking day or Ravens rookie wide receiver Torrey Smith.  Smith became the 6th rookie in league history to post two 150+ yard receiving games in a season, the first Ravens receiver to ever accomplish that feat, he passed Mark Clayton for the franchise’s most receiving yards in a single season by a rookie and was the first Ravens receiver to be tackled by his hair.  Ouch. (Hat tip to Ravens PR guy Patrick Gleason for the stats)
  • Ginger Power – Andy Dalton is for real.   The Bengals rookie QB threw or 373 yards and a touchdown and drove his team down field in the game’s final minutes in an effort to tie the game at 31.  Dalton did make a few rookie mistakes against the Ravens defense.  He threw three picks, including his first ever to Ed Reed.  If this kid has a future in the NL, it won’t be his last.
  • Balance returns to Ravens offense – A new, improved and bearded Cam Cameron called 28 running plays and 27 passing plays against the Bengals.  Joe Flacco threw for 270 yards and two touchdowns and Ray Rice rushed for 104 yards and 2 touchdowns on 20 carries.
It’s a short week or prepare or the Harbaugh Bowl.  Thankfully no major injuries were reported on Sunday.  I say 100% chance Ray Lewis suits up.