Ravens produce another ugly-duckling, only this time it’s a loss

September 19, 2010 | Drew Forrester

Rather than fly home from Cincinnati, the Ravens are going to board the BlameTrain after a woeful performance in the Queen City and a 15-10 AFC North loss to the Bengals.

Just about everyone on the offense will sit in first class on the BlameTrain.

Hell, Joe Flacco might take a turn as the engineer of the thing.

Flacco had perhaps his worst day as a professional, throwing four interceptions and looking bewildered most of the afternoon.

The Baltimore run game didn’t fare much better, save for one decent 30-yard burst from Ray Rice.

Cam Cameron had another indifferent day of play-calling, failing to identify one element of Baltimore’s offense as the club’s “go-to” scheme.

And two penalties led directly to six Cincinnati points which, as it turned out, proved to be the winning margin for the Bengals.  A Ray Lewis tripping penalty kept one Bengals drive alive — and in the 4th quarter, a Terrell Suggs roughing-the-passer flag (on first down) moved Cincinnati deeper into Baltimore territory.

Oh, there was also a 60-yard kick-off return from the Bengals right after Billy Cundiff’s 38-yard field goal gave Baltimore a 10-9 lead midway through the final period.  That one hurt.

Flacco, though, will receive the brunt of the criticism this week after a perfomance that many in Baltimore will give the ultimate cheap shot by calling it “Boller-esque”.

While they’re at it, they should probably take a shot or two at the Baltimore offensive line, which was next-to-horrible throughout most of the afternoon.  Make no mistake about it, the purple birds are missing Jared Gaither.

So, yes, the Ravens didn’t deserve to win on Sunday.  That’s a fact.

Asking an NFL team to play on the road on Monday night and then play another road game on Sunday is tough enough.  Asking them to win both is even tougher.  That’s basically why I picked the Bengals to win today’s game.  I just assumed the Ravens wouldn’t have much gas after a hard fought battle at The (New) Meadowlands on Monday evening.

The Ravens defense had PLENTY of gas on Sunday in Cincinnati.  For the second straight week, they didn’t allow a touchdown.  That the Ravens got the ball back with three minutes left and needed a touchdown to win was nothing short of a miracle given Flacco’s inept play and the offensive struggles for a second consecutive week.

Monday night in New York, the Ravens deserved to win, even if they did sputter on offense.

Sunday in Cincinnati, they didn’t deserve to win.

Fair is fair.  The team that deserved to win did so on Sunday.