Ravens-Bengals: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

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Ravens-Bengals: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
(Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)

Andre Caldwell's 20-yard touchdown reception from Carson Palmer with 22 seconds remaining capped another disappointing Ravens loss on Sunday to AFC North rival Cincinatti, 17-14.

The Good:

  • KR Ladarius Webb: Webb showed (albeit on one kickoff) that he was more explosive as a kick returner than Chris Carr. Webb returned his kickoff for 43 yards, while Carr returned two for a total of 42 yards.
  • RB Ray Rice: Ray Rice led the team in both rushing and receiving yards. He had 143 all-purpose yards (69 rushing, 74 receiving), including an impressive 48-yard touchdown catch.
  • LT Michael Oher: Oher looked good playing left tackle. It was up to Oher to stop Antawn Odom, who led the league with eight sacks going into Sunday's game. Odom left Baltimore with eight sacks.
  • Ed Reed: Reed was a game-changer. He picked off Carson Palmer in the second quarter and took it 52 yards for the score to give the Ravens a 7-0 lead at the time. Reed also forced a Chad Ochocinco fumble, which was recovered by Dominique Foxworth on the Ravens' 25-yard line with 1:30 left in the second quarter. Ochocinco probably would've scored.

The Bad:

  • No pressure on Carson Palmer: The Ravens defense was unable to put pressure on the quarterback for much of the game...again. Without pressure from the pass rush, Carson Palmer was able to pick apart the secondary. Palmer finished with 271 passing yards, going 18-for-31.
  • Not stopping Cedric Benson: For the first time in 40 games, the Ravens defense gave up 100+ yards to an opposing running back. *Cedric Benson (120 yards on 27 carries) really opened up the Bengals' offense. Benson made the Ravens miss, and Haloti Ngata said the team needs to tackle better in the future. (WNSTV)
  • Dominique Foxworth: Foxworth really struggled covering the bigger Bengals receivers. Most notably, Foxworth gave up a 73-yard reception to Chris Henry in the second quarter during which Foxworth inexplicably stopped running after Henry caught the ball. Foxworth caught up with Henry at the five-yard line, and the Bengals offense eventually settled for a field goal.
  • What about McGahee and McClain?: While Ray Rice played well, what happened to Willis McGahee and LeRon McClain? McGahee had a carry for a two-yard loss, and McClain didn't touch the ball.

The Ugly:

  • Joe Flacco: Flacco threw two interceptions, including a costly one to Johnathon Joseph in the end zone. On the play, Flacco never took his eyes off Todd Heap and Joseph read him like a book. Flacco overthrew a wide open Mark Clayton on what would have been a clinching touchdown in the fourth quarter, although in Flacco's defense, I want to see more effort out of Clayton on that play. Especially since he dropped the pass in New England. But I'm not bitter still.
  • Ravens receivers: I know I mentioned this in the "Good" section, but Ray Rice led the team in receiving yards. While it's great to have a dynamic all-purpose running back, there needs to be some output by the receiving corps. Todd Heap caught seven passes for 41 yards. Oh, by the way: Derrick Mason didn't see the ball all game. Mason said the Bengals deserved to win. (WNST.net)
  • Penalties: The Ravens gave up 76 yards on 10 penalties, including three for 30 yards on Cincinnati's last drive. Of course, there are questions to the legitimacy of the calls, but one thing is for sure: Ray Lewis crushed Chad Ochocinco (better view here, go to 3:48). But like John Harbaugh said, "I'm not thinking about it. I just think we have to play better. The idea is to play so well that those things become irrelevant." (Jamison Hensley)
  • Chris Carr: Carr was picked on all game. Let's face it: the guy can't return kicks and really struggles in pass defense. Sorry Ozzie, you whiffed BIG on this signing. Let's see what Ladarius Webb can do at nickel.

*The Ravens defense has given up 100+ rushing yards over the 40 game time, but not to one specific running back. Most notably, the Ravens gave up 207 rushing yards against the Giants in Week 11 of 2008. Brandon Jacobs (11 rushes, 73 yards, two touchdowns) was injured in the second quarter, giving way to Ahmad Bradshaw (nine rushes, 96 yards). Derrick Ward added 44 yards on 11 carries.

Next week, the Ravens (3-2) travel to Minnesota to take on Brett Favre, Adrian Peterson, and the Vikings. Check back later in the week for Ravens keys to the game.

Notes: Baltimore Sun columnist Mike Preston believes John Harbaugh's "defining moment as coach is at hand"...The Sporting News' Clifton Brown ranks the Ravens 14th in his latest power rankings...Harbaugh does not expect the NFL to fine Ray Lewis for his hit on Chad Ochocinco...Ochocinco asked the Commish not to fine Lewis via Twitter, saying the hit was "clean and part of the game"...David Tyree and Ronald Curry worked out for the Ravens on Monday...Browns coach Eric Mangini may be in trouble concerning RB James Davis' mysterious knee injury...Former Jaguars WR Matt Jones will visit with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers...In case you missed it, there were five lead changes in the fourth quarter of the Jets/Dolphins game on Monday Night Football...Reverends Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton oppose Rush Limbaugh's bid to own the St. Louis Rams because Limbaugh made his money by "appealing to the fears of whites"...Redskins players defend head coach Jim Zorn, CB Carlos Rogers say problems start with ownership.

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