The Ravens have controlled tonight’s AFC North battle with the Bengals, but Cincinnati made things interesting just before halftime with a late touchdown on a gutsy fourth-down call just before halftime.
Facing fourth-and-1 at the 6-yard line with 30 seconds left in the half and trailing 17-3, the Bengals eschewed an easy field goal and instead went for it, with running back Benjarvus Green-Ellis taking a handoff up the middle and barreling into the end zone for a touchdown to close the gap to 17-10.
Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco has had an outstanding first half, completing 12 of 15 passes for 183 yards, with a touchdown and no interceptions. Flacco has thrown some beautiful deep balls, including a 52-yard pass to Torrey Smith on the first play of the game, and a 34-yard touchdown to Anquan Boldin. (Boldin appeared to lose control of the ball as he was going to the ground, but the referee reviewed it and upheld the ruling on the field of a touchdown.)
But the Bengals’ passing game has been strong, too, and Cincinnati may have something in receiver Andrew Hawkins, a 5-foot-7 speedster who has caught all four of the passes thrown to him and picked up 47 receiving yards. Green-Ellis has done all the work at running back for the Bengals and has 62 yards.
The Bengals are probably going to need more big plays in the passing game and more gutsy calls if they’re going to outscore the Ravens in the second half and pull off an upset in Baltimore, in a game that will hand the winner sole possession of first place in the AFC North after Week One.