“There’s a lot of talk about Baltimore’s defense. Everybody hypes them up, and they’re great, but I think our defense took that as a personal challenge, and they outplayed them today," Palmer said after he jacked his record against Baltimore to 9-3 despite a 60.1 passer rating. "They had four picks, stuffed the run game, shut down their receivers and took over the game. It was just awesome to see our defense play like that.”
Palmer is right. For all of the weapons that's been promoted out of Baltimore, and they are good weapons generally, the Bengals shut down Baltimore's key players. T.J. Houshmandzadeh didn't have a reception, even though he was targeted six times. Derrick Mason, often shutdown by the Bengals defense since he joined Baltimore, recorded only one reception (even though that was a 31-yard touchdown reception). However, the best of Baltimore's receiving weapons, Anquan Boldin, had five receptions. Though that was for only 35 yards receiving. Boldin was the team's leading receiver.
Ray Rice had his typical Ray Rice day, picking up 87 yards rushing and 30 yards receiving for 107 yards from scrimmage. Though in the world of time displacement, take away Rice's 30-yard run with nine minutes left in the fourth quarter, Rice is only averaging 3.8 yards/rush.