Even though the Bengals are 4-11 and even though the Baltimore Ravens are playing for a second-seed spot in the playoffs -- which the Pittsburgh Steelers are taking full control of over the Cleveland Browns -- Cincinnati's defense is handling the Ravens only allowing six points on 154 yards of total offense and two turnovers. During the Ravens six first half possessions, Baltimore has punted three times, converted two field goals and had a pass intercepted.
However, the Bengals offense, much like their stale version of their 2010 season, has paralleled Baltimore's offensive ineptness. During the team's seven first half possessions, the Bengals have punted three times, turned it over three times and missed a field goal. Cincinnati has only recorded 164 yards of total offense after being shutout in the first half.
Jerome Simpson is clearly the star of the first half, with seven receptions for 72 yards receiving. However, on an early 18-yard reception, Simpson fumbled the football that Baltimore recovered. Fortunately, Reggie Nelson punched the football out of Donte Stallworth's hands on an end around that led directly to the Bengals getting the football back.
A defensive struggle so far. The Bengals have to take care of the football and sustain more drives, while the defense needs to keep the pressure on Flacco (two sacks in the first half) and force more turnovers.