The Cincinnati Bengals somewhat bounced back from a rocky start in their season opening game in Baltimore on Monday Night Football against the Ravens. After allowing the Ravens to open the game with a 53-yard pass to Torrey Smith and giving up the game's first 10 points, the Bengals offense got it together and responded with a long drive that ended in a Mike Nugent Field goal.
Of course, moments later, the Ravens extended their lead again with a long touchdown pass to Anquan Boldin, giving Baltimore a 17-3 lead in the second quarter. The Bengals' next drive stalled and just when it seemed that the Ravens might take completely overwhelm the Bengals on the scoreboard, Cincinnati's defense showed up as Adam Jones sacked Joe Flacco on a crucial third down, giving the Bengals the ball back with a chance to score last in the first half.
They didn't waste their shot at scoring either. The Bengals drove down the field behind Andy Dalton's arm and a fourth-down conversion picked up by some tough running by BenJarvus Green-Ellis to set themselves up in the red zone with less than a minute left in the half. On a third-and-one play, Dalton, faked a handoff to Green-Ellis and looked to throw the ball down field. Dalton found everyone was covered and was forced to try to lob a pass deep into the end zone to Jermaine Gresham, which was knocked down. They then attempted to convert a second fourth-and-short, which is the kind of aggressive play calling that many of us are not used to seeing from the Bengals.
On a fourth-and-one play from the six-yard line, Green-Ellis did what he does best, find the end zone. The team's new running back crossed the goal line, dragging two or three Bengals defenders with him, stretching the ball over the goal line as he was dragged to the ground. After the Nugent extra point, the Bengals were within a touchdown of tying the game with the Ravens.
The Bengals will get the ball back to start the second half with the momentum and an excellent chance to quiet the Ravens home crowd and put the Ravens a little on edge.
To lead the Bengals in the first half, Dalton is 12 for 19 for 112 yards and a 79.3 passer rating, Green-Ellis has 12 carries for 62 yards and a touchdown for an average of 5.2 yards per carry, Andrew Hawkins and A.J. Green lead the team in receiving with 47 yards and 39 yards respectively and Taylor Mays leads the team with four tackles (and one dumb penalty).
There is still a lot of football to play, so make sure you stay tuned to Cincy Jungle for all your updates.