Andy Dalton throws 4 TD passes, Bengals beat Ravens 34-23

A.J. Green is looking for a big finish vs. the Ravens at home

A.J. Green is looking for a big finish vs. the Ravens at home

Thanks to a bone-rattling defensive effort in the fourth quarter, in which Cincinnati outscored the Colts 17-0, the Bengals were able to put the game out of reach late after Clatyon Fejedelem's 83-yard scoop-and-score.

But the Ravens could have kept it closer in the first half if it weren't for their propensity to shoot themselves in the foot.

It wasn't only the offense that had major issues early.

Running back Joe Mixon battled a right knee issue but finished with 87 yards on 22 touches, and Tyler Boyd added six catches for 91 yards and a score.

The last time the Baltimore Ravens saw the Cincinnati Bengals, Andy Dalton and Tyler Boyd turned fourth-and-12 into a 49-yard touchdown in the final minute of Week 17, sending the Ravens home for January and upstate NY into a frenzy as Baltimore coughed up the AFC's final wild-card spot to the Buffalo Bills.

You have to hand it to the Baltimore Ravens.




The Ravens had their streak of five straight Thursday night wins snapped. Flacco threw three touchdown passes, one to each of the newcomers: John Brown, Michael Crabtree and Willie Snead.

While Green's first touchdown was more about a brilliant fake by quarterback Andy Dalton, this was all about Green.

At times the Bengals have looked like they possess the qualities to win the AFC North, and at other times they have looked like the team that went 7-9 last season. In truth numerous players over the years have come out against it, feeling that the short timespan between games takes a tough toll on the body. "They're one of the best defenses I go against every year, so it's always going to be a challenge".

"We still have one (improvement) we need to make, one we haven't done a good job of in the first two games, which is making sure we close out football games", Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said. But the Bengals had a decent night on defense Thursday, sacking Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco four times and intercepting him twice. Working behind a revamped line, he completed 21 of 28 for 243 yards with two touchdowns, one interception and a passer rating of 109.7 at Indianapolis, a notable improvement over last season. Vontaze Burfict is suspended for the first four games for violating the NFL's policy on performance-enhancing substances.

The Ravens played most of the night without linebacker C.J. Mosley, who bruised his knee in the first quarter. Dalton got the ball out quickly in the first half and peppered his receivers with catchable targets, leading the Bengals offense into the end zone four times despite three drops from his receivers.

Bengals play at Carolina.

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