– The Baltimore rush defense hadn’t allowed a 100-yard rusher in nearly three years before the Bengals’ Cedric Benson ended the streak at 39 games on Sunday.
Benson’s 28-yard touchdown run pushed him over the century mark while also giving the Bengals a 10-7 lead in the third quarter. The former Texas Longhorn rushed 27 times for 120 yards in the Bengals’ 17-14 victory over the Ravens.
“It sucks,” defensive tackle Haloti Ngata said about allowing a 100-yard rusher. “We definitely try to stop the run first, and basically, we didn’t do that today. We’ve got to go back and fix it, and hopefully do better this week.”
Kansas City Chiefs running back Larry Johnson was the last opponent to eclipse the 100-yard mark against the Baltimore defense before Benson on Sunday. Johnson’s 120-yard day took place in Kansas City on Dec. 10, 2006.
– Ed Reed continued to cultivate a Hall of Fame resume on Sunday, picking off Carson Palmer in the second quarter and returning it 52 yards for the first score of the game. It was Reed’s sixth career interception return for a touchdown, a franchise record.
It was the 45th interception of his eight-year career. His 45 interceptions and 1,213 interception return yards rank first among all active players in the NFL since 2002, Reed’s rookie season.
“It means nothing if you lose at the end of the day,” Reed said. “When you lose, everything else is out the window. Individual stuff doesn’t matter at the end of the day.”
Including the postseason, Reed has scored 13 touchdowns in his career. He is also the only player in NFL history to score touchdowns off of an interception, a blocked punt, a punt return, and a fumble recovery.
– Despite the offense scoring only seven points on the day, it was another sterling performance by second-year running back Ray Rice. The shifty back registered 143 yards from scrimmage against Cincinnati with 69 coming on the ground and 74 receiving yards (a new career high).
His 48-yard catch and run to the end zone looked to be the decisive blow for the Ravens before Palmer and the Bengals drove 80 yards in the final two minutes for the winning touchdown. Rice is averaging 114.4 net yards per game through the first five weeks of the season.
– Palmer was brilliant on Cincinnati’s final drive, but the Bengals were aided by three crucial Baltimore penalties. Defensive back Chris Carr was flagged for illegal contact, linebacker Ray Lewis was called for unnecessary roughness on a violent helmet-to-helmet hit on Chad Ochocinco, and Frank Walker’s pass interference penalty on 3rd-and-16 gave the Bengals a fresh set of downs at the Baltimore 20-yard line.
Following the Walker flag, Palmer connected with Andre Caldwell for the game-winning 20-yard touchdown.
“I felt like I went around him and batted the ball down, but we haven’t watched the film yet, so I could be inaccurate,” Walker said about the questionable call.
– Quarterback Joe Flacco’s 186 passing yards moved him past Steve McNair into third place in team history with 4,260 career yards through the air.
– Wide receiver Mark Clayton passed Qadry Ismail into third place for all-time receiving yards in team history. The fifth-year wideout has 2,849 yards in his career.
– Derrick Mason did not record a catch for the Ravens offense, making it the first time since Oct. 15, 2006 that the veteran receiver did not have at least one reception for the Baltimore offense.
– Tight end and special teams player Edgar Jones left the game with a hamstring injury and did not return. His was the only reported injury for the Ravens.
– The Ravens’ inactives were John Beck (third quarterback), Jalen Parmele, Prescott Burgess, Oniel Cousins, Jared Gaither, Tony Curtis, Kelly Talavou, and Paul Kruger.
– The Ravens (3-2) will travel to Minnesota to take on the undefeated Vikings (5-0, first place in the NFC North) at the Metrodome next Sunday.