Last week, the Ravens pulled out a close 10-9 win over the Jets in New York. It wasn't a pretty win, but I'll take it. On the Ravens first offensive play of the game, Joe Flacco was sandwiched after not throwing the ball, and the Jets forced a fumble. Fortunately, all that they could get on offense was a 23-yard Nick Folk field goal. The Ravens defense was pretty dominant all game, only giving up the three field goals. The Jets got another one on the board in the second quarter after a Flacco interception, making it a 6-0 game. The Ravens offense didn't look good at all in the first half, but got an important 1-yard touchdown run from Willis McGahee at the end of the half to give the Ravens a 7-6 lead. The offense did look somewhat better in the second half, mainly relying on new receiver Anquan Boldin, who had an amazing first game as a Raven. But other than Boldin, the Ravens got a lot of help from the Jets' defensive penalties, as 7 Jets penalties forced 7 Ravens first downs. The Ravens took a 10-6 lead on a third quarter field goal by Billy Cundiff. After a lot of defense, Nick Folk hit a 48-yard field goal in the fourth to make it a one point game. Then the Jets got a chance to win within the two minute mark. On second down and 10 from their own 32, Mark Sanchez went over the middle for TE Dustin Keller, who got absolutely rocked by Ray Lewis, forcing an incomplete pass. Then, on fourth and ten, Sanchez found Keller again, who stepped out of bounds before the first down marker, ultimately ending the game.
Co-Players of the Game: WR Anquan Boldin-7 catches, 110 receiving yards, LB Ray Lewis- 4 tackles.
Next Sunday, the Ravens will travel to Cincinnati to face the Bengals, who lost to the Patriots last week. Ravens WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh will be facing his former team. The Bengals Batman and Robin duo of WRs Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens will force problems for a shaky Ravens secondary. They will definitely need to step up their game to control those two receivers. There has always been a rivalry between Ray Lewis and Ochocinco, so expect some mouthing off Sunday. The Ravens defense will also have trouble with Bengals RB Cedric Benson, who rushed for 100 yards against the Ravens twice last year. That means that the Ravens will be happy to avenge those games, and expect them to Sunday. On the offensive side of the ball, I think the Ravens need to improve over last week. Given that they are playing a much weaker defense, they still cannot make some of the same mistakes that they made last Monday night. Expect a lot of catches for Anquan Boldin this week. In what is going to be an interesting game, I have the Ravens winning 20-13.
Key Matchups for Ravens at Bengals
Ravens LB Ray Lewis vs. Bengals RB Cedric Benson Edge: Lewis
Ravens CB Fabian Washington vs. Bengals WR Chad Ochocinco Edge: Ochocinco
Ravens WR Anquan Boldin vs. Bengals CB Leon Hall Edge: Boldin
Ravens C Matt Birk vs. Bengals DT Tank Johnson Edge: Birk
T Jared Gaither-Back-OUT
WR Donte Stallworth-Foot-OUT
DT Terrence Cody-Knee-QST
LB Tavares Gooden-Thigh-QST
TE Todd Heap-Shoulder-QST
LB Jarret Johnson-Back-QST
LB Ray Lewis-Foot-QST
WR Anquan Boldin-Thigh-PRB
RB Brian Leonard-Foot-QST
LB Keith Rivers-Foot-QST
RB Cedric Benson-Shoulder-PRB
WR Andre Caldwell-Groin-PRB
That's this week's version of my Ravens Report, see ya next week!