Bengals
Ravens
10 - 17 Final
  for this game

Flacco, Ravens defense get it done against Bengals

Sep 7, 2008 - 11:08 PM By Rich Dubroff PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

BALTIMORE (Ticker) -- Joe Flacco was drafted because of his strong arm. But it was a play he made with his legs that helped lead the Baltimore Ravens to victory.

Flacco had a solid NFL debut, running for a 38-yard touchdown to lead the Baltimore Ravens to a 17-10 win over the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday.

Flacco, the Ravens' first-round draft choice, started only because the two incumbents, Kyle Boller and Troy Smith were unavailable. He completed 15-of-29 passes for 129 yards, wasn't sacked or intercepted.

Boller was lost for the season with a shoulder injury, and Smith's viral infection has left him too weak to play for the last three weeks.

Flacco made Baltimore coach John Harbaugh a winner in his NFL debut. The defense helped, too, allowing only 164 yards to the Bengals, who did not have an offensive play longer than 24 yards.

Leading 10-3, with ball on the Bengals 38, Flacco rolled to his right and scampered for the score. Flacco ran down the sideline, scooted to his left and found the end zone. While at the University of Delaware, Flacco never ran for longer than 25 yards.

"I started running, and I was thinking, 'first down, first down,' and I got to the first down point, and I was like 'I don't think there was anybody here,'" Flacco said. "I just started going up field, and I just thought: 'I'm going to get into the end zone.' I didn't want to mess it up."

In his first game, he heard a stadium full of fans chanting: "Let's go Flacco." It amazed him.

"I thought I heard it. I kind of thought I heard it, but I wasn't really sure," Flacco said. "Why would they be doing that?"

Harbaugh was complimentary of his rookie.

"This was a beginning for Joe," Harbaugh said. "This is going to be a jumping-off point. What he needs to do is get better. He needs to take this week to next week and make the most of it."

The self-described "no-name coach" refused to explicitly endorse Flacco when asked.

"We'll see. Good try, though," Harbaugh said with a smile.

Bengals coach Marvin Lewis, a one-time Baltimore defensive coordinator saw Flacco for the first time. The touchdown run began in front of Lewis on the Cincinnati sideline.

"A guy missed a tackle, and (Flacco) kept coming. But, we've got to make the tackle," Lewis said. "The two explosive plays defensively, given up in the running game seemed to be the difference."

The Ravens (1-0) opened the scoring on the other explosive play as Mark Clayton scored on a 42-yard double reverse.

Flacco handed the ball to Derrick Mason, who handed it to Clayton. The surprising call gave the Ravens a 7-0 lead with 2:12 to play in the first quarter.

"It looked good in practice and it certainly looked good today," Clayton said.

Clayton was surprised to see Flacco blocking for him.

"Coach tells us if you don't have the ball, you're a blocker," Flacco said.

The score was set up by Chris McAlister's interception of Carson Palmer's pass to Chad Johnson.

Johnson, who legally changed his name this week to Chad Ocho Cinco, was told minutes before kickoff by the NFL he couldn't wear his new moniker on his jersey. He had only one reception for 22 yards.

"I'm not sure what happened," Johnson said. "You have to understand that we were playing the best defense in the NFL. They gave us some very exotic looks, and I know they had some new stuff for us. By the time we made adjustments, it was too late.

"Thank goodness we don't have to play that defense every week."

Palmer completed just 10-of-25 passes for 99 yards.

"We only scored three points," Palmer said. "It's a pretty sick feeling?.If there is any positive we can take from this, it's our first game. We've got 15 more and plenty of time to get better."

His coach wasn't happy with Palmer's performance.

"He put himself in some bad situations," Lewis said.

His counterpart, Flacco appreciated what Palmer was up against.

"God, that was ridiculous. They didn't really let up anything all day," Flacco said.

"We were going for the shutout. We didn't want them to get any points," Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs said.

The Bengals were Bengals were outrushed nearly 4-1 by the Ravens, 229 yards to 65. Keith Rivers, Cincinnati's first-round draft choice, was very busy with a game-high 10 tackles.

"We knew those dudes were good, and that they have a good running team," Rivers said. "We just weren't able to make those plays. I had a ton of missed tackles, and that will kill you every time."

The Ravens took a 10-0 lead late in the first half when Matt Stover converted on a 21-yard field goal with 1:43 to play, and the Bengals finally scored with five seconds left on Shayne Graham's 43 yard field goal.

Cincinnati (0-1) scored with 10:15 to play when the Ravens were threatening to score again. Ray Rice fumbled and Johnathan Joseph recovered and ran 65 yards to make it 17-10.

"They were just running the ball trying to kill the clock," Joseph said. "I just picked it up with a clear path."

Midway through the fourth quarter, the Bengals drove down to the Baltimore 25, but on 4th-and-1, Chris Perry was stopped for a loss by the Ravens' Haloti Ngata.

"Either they drive you back or you drive them back," Ngata said. "That time I made the play."






  • 91
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    DialH Added 5 roots

    Bengals 10, Ravens 17  FinalSep 7 9:22 PM


  • NFL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    CINCINNATI 0 3 0 7 10
    BALTIMORE 7 3 7 0 17 FINAL
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: BAL - TD, MARK CLAYTON 42 YD RUN (MATT STOVER
    KICK), 12:48. Drive: 8 plays, 78
    yards in 3:06. Key plays: McAlister
    16-yard interception return to
    Baltimore 22; Flacco 15-yard pass
    to D. Mason

    Sep 7 4:13 PM
  • 86
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    RUWTbot Added 51 roots (Close Finish)

    Bengals 10, Ravens 17  4th - 3:15Sep 7 4:04 PM
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    Bengals 10, Ravens 17  4th - 9:54Sep 7 3:53 PM


  • NFL
    TD CIN
    JOHNATHAN JOSEPH 65 YD FUMBLE RETURN
    (SHAYNE GRAHAM KICK)
    CINCINNATI 10
    BALTIMORE 17 10:15 LEFT, 4TH QTR

    Bengals 10, Ravens 17  4th - 10:15Sep 7 3:45 PM


  • NFL
    END, 3RD QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    CINCINNATI 0 3 0 3
    BALTIMORE 7 3 7 17 END, 3RD QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: BAL - TD, MARK CLAYTON 42 YD RUN (MATT STOVER
    KICK), 12:48. Drive: 8 plays, 78
    yards in 3:06. Key plays: McAlister
    16-yard interception return to
    Baltimore 22; Flacco 15-yard pass
    to D

    Sep 7 3:32 PM


  • NFL
    TD BAL
    JOE FLACCO 38 YD RUN
    (MATT STOVER KICK)
    CINCINNATI 3
    BALTIMORE 17 0:15 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Bengals 3, Ravens 17  3rd - 0:15Sep 7 3:28 PM


  • NFL
    HALFTIME 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    CINCINNATI 0 3 3
    BALTIMORE 7 3 10 HALFTIME
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: BAL - TD, MARK CLAYTON 42 YD RUN (MATT STOVER
    KICK), 12:48. Drive: 8 plays, 78
    yards in 3:06. Key plays: McAlister
    16-yard interception return to
    Baltimore 22; Flacco 15-yard pass
    to D. Ma

    Sep 7 2:35 PM


  • NFL
    FG CIN
    43 YD
    CINCINNATI 3
    BALTIMORE 10 0:05 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Bengals 3, Ravens 10  2nd - 0:05Sep 7 2:33 PM


  • NFL
    FG BAL
    MATT STOVER 21 YD
    CINCINNATI 0
    BALTIMORE 10 1:46 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Bengals 0, Ravens 10  2nd - 1:46Sep 7 2:25 PM
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    Bengals 0, Ravens 7  2nd - 7:45Sep 7 2:12 PM


  • NFL
    END, 1ST QTR 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    CINCINNATI 0 0
    BALTIMORE 7 7 END, 1ST QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: BAL - TD, MARK CLAYTON 42 YD RUN (MATT STOVER
    KICK), 12:48. Drive: 8 plays, 78
    yards in 3:06. Key plays:
    McCallister 16-yard interception
    return to Baltimore 22; Flacco
    15-yard pass t

    Sep 7 1:39 PM


  • NFL
    TD BAL
    MARK CLAYTON 42 YD RUN
    (MATT STOVER KICK)
    CINCINNATI 0
    BALTIMORE 7 2:12 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Bengals 0, Ravens 7  1st - 2:12Sep 7 1:32 PM
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