Joe Flacco couldn’t be starting his season any better.
After giving the Ravens a 17-3 lead 2:35 into the second quarter, the fifth-year quarterback has completed nine of 11 passes for 160 yards and a touchdown. The no-huddle suits him and the last drive is a perfect example.
Baltimore bolted down the field, covering 82 yards in just five plays and 2:27. The last play of that drive was a well-placed 34-yard dart from Flacco to Anquan Boldin for six points.
Two plays earlier, Flacco maneuvered another accurate ball over two Bengals defenders into the waiting arms of Jacoby Jones for a 25-yard gain.
Definitely the fast start offensive coordinator Cam Cameron was seeking.
Update: Even though the Ravens have commanded play so far, the Bengals sure are in line to make it interesting now.
On fourth-and-1 from the Baltimore 6-yard line, BenJarvus Green-Ellis ran it in for touchdown with 18 seconds remaining in the first half to cut the Ravens’ lead to 17-10.
Flacco has completed 12 of 15 passes for 183 yards and a touchdown while Ray Rice has rushed for 37 yards and a score. Green-Ellis has been the key for the Bengals, running for 62 yards and a touchdown so far.
The Bengals are also winning the time of possession battle, mainly because of game-plan differences. The Ravens are producing via the quick strike and Cincinnati is getting it done with longer drives, the latest being a 13-play, 81-yarder which lasted 5:34.
Baltimore has outgained Cincinnati 225-176, but the Bengals are going to start the second half with the ball and what once seemed en route to a rout has turned into a quality ballgame.
Update II: The silver lining is simple - the game isn’t tied.
The Ravens still lead after the Bengals advanced all the way to the Baltimore 1, only to stall for a 19-yard Mike Nugent field goal with 8:59 to go in the third quarter. That makes it 17-13 Ravens.
It’s been quite a while since Baltimore had the ball and since it led 17-3. But again, at least it isn’t tied.