Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports
With starters like Joe Flacco and Ray Rice on the bench, the Baltimore Ravens are tied with the Cincinnati Bengals 7-7 at the end of the first half.
It doesn't matter who is playing, the Batimore Ravens always seem to match up well withthe Cincinnati Bengals. With four straight wins in this head-to-head series, the Ravens appear to have the Bengals number. Despite the Bengals playing their first-stringers for all 30 minutes, the Ravens still managed to shut down their offense and cause Cincinnati to punt five times in the first half.
Cincinnati had managed but 63 yards of total offense, led by QB Andy Dalton's 6 of 11 for 43 yards, up until the last two minutes of the half. Dalton finshed the half 10 of 15 for 78 yards. With two minutes left in the first half, Dalton got the ball in Baltimore territory and finally found his star WR A.J. Green, who did not catch a ball in the game's first 28 minutes. Dalton finally found rookie WR Marvin Jones for an 11-yard TD pass, helped out significantly by two horrible missed tackles by two Ravens defenders after catching the ball at the six yard line.
Meanwhile, Joe Flacco only played the first few series, going 4 for 8 for 34 yards, before turning it over to backup Tyrod Taylor, who added 4 of 5 for 30 yards. Tyrod's legs gave him 33 more yards on just two carries, including a 28 yard scamper. RB Bernard Pierce carried the load rushing for Baltimore, averaging over five yards a carry.
The second half will obviously decide what will probably end up being a meaningless game in the playoff seeding. However, a win would help both team's confidence headed into the post season. Let's hope Baltimore ends up with the victory and post your comments along the way and then join us immediately after it goes final for the game recap and summary.