Playing without their leader, Ravens get job done against Bengals

November 20, 2011 | Luke Jones

As has been the case between the Ravens and the Bengals throughout the Harbaugh era, the team winning the turnover battle will prevail in the game. The Ravens forced three Cincinnati turnovers while the Bengals were only able to create one takeaway.

In the seven games played between the teams since 2008, the team winning the turnover battle is 5-0.

“To get things going and stop them when they were driving, those plays are always huge,” Reed said. “Those are plays that [can help] you win the game. We know that. It’s not always the case like today was, and hats off to Cincinnati, they played a hard-fought game.”

Reed, Lardarius Webb, and Jimmy Smith record interceptions against Dalton, though Smith fumbled his return all the way to the Cincinnati 2 before linebacker Brendon Ayanbadejo recovered the ball to set up a Ray Rice touchdown run.

The Ravens committed a turnover in their ninth consecutive game, but it was only the fourth time this season in which they had fewer than two giveaways.

Dating back to 2000, the Ravens are now 57-1 when posting at least a plus-2 turnover margin. Baltimore is now plus-3 for the season.

Odds & ends

The Ravens reported no new injures following the win over the Bengals, but linebacker Dannell Ellerbe re-aggravated his hamstring/groin injury and safety Tom Zbikowski hurt his leg, leading to the insertion of Chris Carr as the kickoff returner. … The three interceptions are the most thrown by Dalton in his brief career. … With two ground touchdowns on Sunday, Rice has now rushed for a single-season career-high eight touchdowns. His 10 total touchdowns for the year are also a career best. … Linebacker Jarret Johnson made the 74th straight start of his career on Sunday, setting a new franchise record. Johnson has now played in a Ravens’ record 123 consecutive games. His 74 straight starts rank as the NFL’s second-longest streak by a linebacker (London Fletcher, 173). … The Ravens have scored 30 or more points in five of their seven wins this season. Baltimore is averaging 25.6 points per game, which is currently on pace to set a team record of 410 points in a season. The record is 391 in 2003 and 2009. … Baltimore now sits atop the AFC North at 7-3, owing the tiebreaker over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

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