The Bengals have not only done what the 1988 Bengals never did, but also something no team in franchise history has done by scoring at least 34 points in the first two games.
After Thursday night’s 34-23 victory over the Ravens at Paul Brown Stadium, the Bengals are 2-0 for the first time since 2015 and the fifth time under head coach Marvin Lewis. The only year they went 2-0 and didn’t make the playoffs was 2006.
Bengals running back Joe Mixon went for a gutty 84 yards on 21 carries after twice coming out of the game with an injured knee. When he came back in for the last time, the Ravens had just cut the lead to 28-23 with 9:35 left. After Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton told his huddle the next drive was the one that was going to win it, Mixon got hemmed in on a run to the right on first-and- ten from the Ravens 37, reversed field and took it outside for a 21-yard run that set up Randy Bullock’s 28-yard field goal with 2:59 left for the all-important eight-point lead.
“It felt a little weird, but it was crunch time,” Mixon said.
Mixon looked to be OK, but it looks like right end Michael Johnson sprained his MCL and is probably going to miss at least a couple of games.
It’s believed that rookie center Billy Price sprained his ankle in the second quarter and Trey Hopkins picked a heck of a time to make his debut at NFL center with Ravens giants Brandon Williams and Michael Pierce across from him.
So the Bengals allowed no sacks and ran the ball for 3.9 yards per carry against the NFL’s No. 1 defense.
“I feel happy for Trey,” Dalton said. “He came in and we didn’t miss a beat. I thought our guys up front played well.”
The Bengals defense has generated five turnovers after forcing just 14 all last season. They’ve also recovered two fumbles after recovering just three last season.
Green’s first three-touchdown game gives him four this season and 61 in his career, five shy of Chad Johnson’s 66 receiving TDs. He’s never had more than two TDs after the first two games.
Off his four touchdown passes, Dalton has six in the first two games. He had five after the first two weeks in 2015.
Another downer for Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco at The Paul. He's 3-7 here and 9-11 against Cincinnati overall with 21 TDs and 25 interceptions. His 25 picks are one more than what he has combined against Cleveland and Pittsburgh.