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Revisiting the 5 keys to the Bengals' victory over the Ravens

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Last week I posted the five things the Bengals needed to do (or avoid) to come away with a win against Baltimore. Now we're going back to see how accurate those keys were and if the Bengals accomplished them.

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The Bengals played a very good game on the road against a team that put up a fight. There was adversity and there were heroics. The Bengals had a great start and could have gone up 28 - 0 if not for a red zone turnover and a questionable incomplete catch call. But, how did I do predicting what the Bengals needed to do to get the win?

1) Big plays

On multiple occasions, Andy Dalton found Marvin Jones and picked up huge chunks of yards. This was a big play type of game and the Bengals answered the call multiple times in the fourth quarter. There were plenty of opportunities left on the field also. This was a spot on call and the big plays of the Bengals countered the big plays of the Ravens.

2) Pressure Flacco

There seemed to be more pressure on Dalton through the game than Joe Flacco felt. However, in the late stages of the game, even the announcers were acknowledging that the Bengals' defensive line was fresh and the Ravens offensive line was struggling because of it. In the fourth quarter, when it mattered, Flacco was uncomfortable and forced to check down and make poor throws because of the heat from the Bengals' defense. While the Ravens scored in the fourth, the quarterback was uncomfortable.

3) Run the ball

Well, this was a miss. The Bengals could get no momentum on the ground. They still attempted to run the ball 30 times and you could argue that And Dalton's running touchdown set the tone for the Bengals, but the end stats don't support the argument that the Bengals had a good day running the ball.

4) Keep a pocket

From a gut perspective, I felt there was too much pressure on Dalton. I found Russell Bodine struggling all day and this affected Dalton as well as the running game. The Bengals offensive line needs to improve if the Bengals are going to continue their winning ways.

5) Reintroduce A.J. Green

Can a key to the game prediction be more spot on than this one? We heard over and over again about how Steve Smith Sr. owned the Bengals, but the day belonged to A.J. Green who came up huge in the Bengals' win.