The Ravens lead the Bengals 17-3 after the first half of play in their Week 17 matchup. The Bengals are pulling their usual routine in which they get down early and hopefully they'll be able to battle back in the second half like they've been known to do this season.
In the last, and most important game of the season, the Bengals stepped on the field and looked as flat as ever. The won the coin toss and deferred to the Ravens to start the game. After moving the ball 10 yards on three plays, Ray Rice ran for a 70-yard touchdown on the fourth play. He went through the line and raced to the end zone without even being touched and gave the Ravens an early seven-point lead.
The Bengals weren't able to do anything with the ball on their first possession. They moved nine yards on three plays and then punted the ball away after going three-and-out.
The Bengals defense continued to dig themselves a hole on the Ravens' next possession. The Ravens marched 54 yards down the field on seven plays before they were stopped and Billy Cundiff was able to give them a 10-point lead after making a 42-yard field goal.
That's when the Bengals woke up. When their offense took the field, they drove 43-yards down the field in nine plays before they were stopped. Mike Nugent came on the field and got the Bengals back within a touchdown of the Ravens by converting a 46-yard field goal.
The defense woke up along with the offense. They stopped the Ravens on their next series and forced them to punt after going three-and-out. Andy Dalton and the offense was able to move 59 yards down the field in 12 plays on their next drive but were stopped. Nugent came out on the field to attempt to bring the Bengals within four points but he missed a 36-yard field goal.
The Bengals stopped the Ravens again and forced them to punt but went three-and-out themselves and punted the ball right back.
The Ravens were able to march down the field on their next possession and thanks to a terrible helmet-to-helmet call on Bengals safety Reggie Nelson on Ed Dickson, the Ravens moved into the red zone in the final minute of the half. They picked up a first down on a quarterback sneak inside the 10-yard line before they called their final timeout. On the very next play, Joe Flacco found Dennis Pitta in the corner of the end zone, extending the Ravens' lead to 17-3.
The Bengals will need to come out in the second half as a different team if they want to lock a playoff spot and not rely on what other teams, the Raiders and the Broncos, do.