Bengals 21, Ravens 9
Carson Palmer threw two touchdown passes, and the Bengals won 21-9 this afternoon against Baltimore to go into their bye week with a 7-2 record.
The Bengals have not had a 7-2 start since 1988, their last of two Super Bowl seasons. The 2005 Bengals are now 4-1 on the road. They had not won four games away from home since completing the 1995 season with a 4-4 record.
The Bengals run defense did an outstanding job, holding Ravens running back Jamal Lewis to 15 carries for 49 yards. It was the first time in eight career games against the Bengals that Lewis did not rush for 100 yards.
On the other hand, Rudi Johnson ran 29 times for 97 yards for the Bengals.
The Bengals struck for two touchdowns within four minutes of the second quarter. Trailing 3-0, the Bengals drove 80 yards on 12 plays. Rudi Johnson ran in from the 1-yard line for the touchdown, his third this season.
Three defensive penalties on the Ravens helped the drive along. Palmer threw for 51 yards on the drive, the Bengals’ second longest touchdown march of the season. The Bengals also went 91 yards for a TD in the opener at Cleveland.
On Baltimore’s next possession, tight end Todd Heap caught a 10-yard pass on third and 14, but Bengals linebacker Landon Johnson knocked the ball loose, and safety Kevin Kaesviharn recovered at the Ravens’ 31-yard line. Rudi Johnson ran four times for 22 yards, and on third down from the 8, Palmer threw a shovel pass to rookie wide receiver Tab Perry. Left guard Eric Steinbach threw a block at the 3, and Perry broke a tackle to score his first NFL touchdown.
The extra-point kick was the 104th in a row for Shayne Graham, breaking the previous franchise record of 103 consecutive PATs by Doug Pelfrey.
Early in the fourth quarter, Bengals left tackle Levi Jones went down with an apparent right knee injury. Steinbach, the team’s most versatile offensive lineman, moved to left tackle, and Scott Kooistra came in at left guard. Jones re-entered the game on the same drive. Also, running back Chris Perry was injured and returned.
On first down from the Bengals’ 48-yard line, Palmer completed a 48-yard pass down the right sideline to Chad Johnson. The Bengals converted a third-and-goal play from the 3, a Palmer pass to Henry in the back of the end zone. It capped a 12-play, 91-yard drive that consumed 6:41 of the fourth quarter.
The Bengals were penalized 15 yards on the following kickoff for unsportsmanlike conduct. Henry had taken off his helmet in the end zone.
In the first half, Palmer was 8-for-11 passing for 79 yards and one touchdown. His passer rating through two quarters was 122.9.
The Ravens took a 3-0 lead with 3:33 remaining in the first quarter. Baltimore converted two consecutive third-down plays. Quarterback Anthony Wright scrambled 22 yards, and on a third and 6, Wright threw 8 yards to tight end Todd Heap. The Bengals did stop Baltimore on a third-and-4 play from the 16, and the Ravens settled for a 34-yard Matt Stover field goal. It was the 55th field goal against the Bengals in Stover’s 16th-year career.
The Bengals caught a break in the third quarter at the end of their first possession. Palmer completed a 12-yard pass to tight end Matt Schobel, who ran toward the sideline with the ball and was stripped by linebacker Adalius Thomas. Safety Will Demps picked up the ball at Baltimore 42-yard line and ran for a touchdown. But the officials had whistled the play dead, and the Ravens were given possession at their 42.
The Bengals defense forced a punt, and the offense drove from their 9-yard line. Rookie wide receiver Chris Henry caught a 34-yard touchdown pass from Palmer, but Ravens coach Brian Billick challenged the call on the field, and Henry was ruled as having juggled the ball.
Graham missed a 48-yard field goal attempt wide right.
Wright, the Ravens quarterback, injured his ankle on the ensuing drive. Kordell Stewart went in, and he led the Ravens on a scoring drive. Stewart faked out linebacker Odell Thurman, drawing him into a jump, on a third-down run that yielded a first down. But on a third down and one from the 6-yard line, Bengals safety Anthony Mitchell chased down Stewart and sacked him for a seven-yard loss. Stover kicked his third field goal to pull the Ravens within 14-9.
Baltimore failed to covert any of their first three red-zone possessions into a touchdown.
The Bengals had driven to the Baltimore 30-yard line on their first possession, but Palmer was sacked twice for 14 yards in losses. Kyle Larson’s punt went into the end zone, giving Baltimore a first down on the 20-yard line. Then they went on their 11-play, 64-yard scoring drive that ended with Stover’s field goal.