The Ravens are heading into Sunday's game with a great deal of disappointment and a quarterback that they never dreamed on starting a game. In a way it's similar to the start of the 2008 season. The Ravens were coming off of a dreadful 2007 season where they fell short of their Super Bowl aspirations and they were starting a rookie quarterback that they were planning on keeping on the bench to start the season.
Starting Joe Flacco to begin 2008 was never part of the Ravens plan, but a season-ending injury to Kyle Boller and Troy Smith's illness put Joe Flacco in the starting spot for the season opener. Flacco was going to get his first start against the Cincinnati Bengals, who had traditionally been a tough opponent for the Ravens.
The Ravens struck first with a 42 yard touchdown run from wide receiver Mark Clayton on a double reverse with 2:27 left in the first quarter. Matt Stover would kick a field goal with 1:46 left in the first half to add to the Ravens lead. Shayne Graham would kick a field goal with nine seconds left in the half to put the Bengals on the board for the first time. Joe Flacco would score his first career touchdown in third quarter off a 38 yard run. The Bengals would then score their only touchdown of the day in the fourth quarter, when Bengals cornerback Jonathan Joseph returned a Ray Rice fumble 65 yards for a touchdown. The Bengals tried to rally in the fourth quarter, but Haloti Ngata tackled Bengals running back Chris Perry for a loss of one on fourth down and the Ravens would run out the clock to finish the game.
The victory was the first victory of the Harbaugh-Flacco era and the Ravens go on to win 11 games in 2008 and made it all the way to the conference championship in 2008. Hopefully the Ravens will be able to solve their Bengals problem and get back to their winning ways.