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Ravens vs. Bengals final recap: an ugly start leads to a failed comeback

NFL: Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

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On a short week following a 47-3 victory over Buffalo, Baltimore traveled to Cincinnati to face the Bengals for Thursday Night Football.

The Ravens had a horrendous start to the game. Joe Flacco and the offense went three-and-out on the first possession. On the next offensive drive, Flacco threw an interception to rookie safety Jessie Bates III intended for Michael Crabtree. The offensive line was bullied by Cincinnati’s defensive line, allowing three sacks in the first half.

The defense did not start any better, allowing three touchdowns to A.J. Green in the first quarter. Tavon Young allowed the first two and Marlon Humphrey allowed the third. Baltimore was unable to get pressure on Andy Dalton all night long, finishing the game with zero sacks. Tyler Boyd also scored a touchdown.

The defense suffered a major loss early on when C.J. Mosley was carted into the locker room with a knee injury. It has since been announced that Mosley suffered a bone bruise.

The Ravens defensive line was manhandled on the ground with Joe Mixon rushing for 84 yards. Baltimore’s defense was unable to get off the field on several key third downs. Dalton had very little pressure and was able to stand in the pocket and deliver passes. Dalton finished the game 24/42 for 265 yards and four touchdowns.

Meanwhile, Flacco was under constant pressure with the Bengals sacking him four times. Geno Atkins and Carlos Dunlap were constantly in the backfield. The Ravens had more success running the ball with Alex Collins, however, he only received nine carries and finished with 35 yards. Javorius Allen had six carries for eight yards and a rushing touchdown.

Baltimore’s receivers came alive late, particularly John Brown. Brown had four receptions for 92 yards and a touchdown.

Crabtree finished with five catches for 56 yards and Willie Snead with five catches for 54 yards. Rookie tight end Mark Andrews scored his first touchdown.

Flacco was able to rally late, throwing for two touchdowns. A tipped pass from Dunlap led to an untimely interception late in the game, however. Flacco finished the night 32/55 for 376 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.

Justin Tucker was 1/1, making a 55-yard field goal. Janarion Grant played despite being listed as questionable with a hand injury. Grant fumbled once again early in the game after fumbling the previous week as well. Grant’s fumbling issues could ultimately cost him the return job.

Despite a hard-fought comeback, the Ravens fell short in the end with a final score of 34-23. Cincinnati now takes first place in the AFC North at 2-0 while Baltimore falls to 1-1. The Ravens now have a long week of rest before playing Denver in Week 3.