Earlier this week, we looked at whether the Cincinnati Bengals are for real.
After beating the Ravens in Baltimore, we have the answer.
In a thrilling back-and-forth affair that had the Ravens taking the lead with roughly seven minutes to play after tailback Ray Rice caught a short pass, kept on his feet, and went 48 yards for a score, the Bengals nevertheless pulled out a 17-14 win.
After the two teams traded punts, the Bengals got the ball back with 80 yards to go and 2:15 on the clock. A dozen plays later, Cincy cashed in, via a 20-yard touchdown pass from Carson Palmer to Andre Caldwell with less than 30 seconds to play.
The game-winning drive was fueled by a 15-yard penalty for unnecessary roughness called on linebacker Ray Lewis, who heavily criticized last week rules protecting quarterbacks against low and high hits.
The Ravens had another chance, but a long interception sealed the win for Cincy. Coaches and players then mobbed defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer, whose wife died earlier this week at the age of 50.
The Bengals are 4-1, and they would be 5-0 but for a fluke bounce in the closing seconds of a Week One loss to the Broncos.
The Ravens, after starting 3-0, are now 3-2 and tied with the Steelers for second place in the AFC North.
The Bengals host the Texans and Bears before getting their bye week. The league recently moved the October 25 game between Chicago and Cincinnati to a 4:15 p.m. ET start, which makes a lot of sense given the unexpected success of the Bengals.