Lost in the shuffle amidst the Ravens' offensive woes, their inability to hang onto the football, and the questionable penalty calls in yesterday's game was the second straight solid performance out of the Baltimore defense.
Against a potent, well-rounded Bengals offense which features two physical, playmaking wide receivers, an athletic young tight end, and a running back who torched the Ravens twice last year, defensive coordinator Greg Mattison's group held tough, allowing just 253 total yards on the afternoon.
Believe it or not, Cincinnati actually had less offensive output than the Ravens, who posted 259 yards.
The Ravens' D continued its recent trend of shutting down opponents on third downs, holding the Bengals to 3-of-18 (17 percent) on third down opportunities, and keeping them out of the end zone on four separate possessions inside the Baltimore red zone.
A large portion of the credit for yesterday's defensive performance goes to the Ravens secondary, which turned in its second straight strong outing.
Unlike the Jets, who this secondary shut down in Week 1, the Bengals have a handful of legitimate weapons in the passing game, which made yesterday's game a true test to see how the Baltimore defensive backs would play.
They passed that test with flying colors.
Despite the fact that Carson Palmer had all day to throw at times, he had little success down the field, going just 16-of-35 for 167 yards. Fabian Washington and Chris Carr contained Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens for much of the afternoon, and Lardarius Webb (making his first game appearance since tearing his ACL last December), Josh Wilson and Haruki Nakamura all did a nice job rotating in during nickel situations.
The big plays burned the Ravens last year, but after holding New York without a passing play over 15 yards last week, the secondary held Cincinnati to only two such plays yesterday.
This defense has yet to allow a touchdown in eight straight quarters and has given up an average of only 215 yards in two games.
Now, it'd just be nice if they could get some help from their buddies in the offensive huddle.