Ravens Sink Bengals Baltimore -- Most analysts and writers were calling week 10’s matchup between the Cincinnati Bengals and Baltimore Ravens a classic “trap” game. The Ravens entered the week coming off a big win against the Cleveland Browns, to extend their lead within the division, and were at home against a Cincinnati team that has struggled this season to say the least. “The team had great focus all week long,” said Head Coach John Harbaugh after the game. “Personally, I wasn’t worried about them coming out flat. I knew they would be ready.” And boy were they ready. The Bengals would start the game on offense; however, they would not possess the ball for long. Ravens outside linebacker Terrell Suggs would pick off Cincinnati QB Josh Johnson a few plays into the game. Things have been extremely unusual for the Bengals at the quarterback position this season. It all started when new ownership made the bold move to trade for All Pro quarterback Payton Manning in the offseason. Opinion of the trade was split 50/50 against fans and so called experts alike. Some found the move unnecessary since then starter Andy Dalton had lead the team to the playoffs the year prior, and looked to be one of the better young QB’s in the QSF. Others found the move to be genius. Trade for an all world QB in Manning, knowing he would more than likely retire at the end of the season, to lead an talented team to a Super Bowl, while also having Dalton learn more than he ever though imaginable during that time. Unfortunately for all parties involved the 2013 season has been a pure disaster for the Cincinnati quarterbacks. Manning and Dalton both have struggled to the extent that new owner/coach CTfromDC recently tabbed five year vet Josh Johnson the starter going forward. “We made the trade in a win and win now type move. We understood this would probably be the last go round for Payton, but at the same time knew it would worth bringing him in on multiple fronts,” Bengals owner/coach CTfromDC said earlier this year when discussing the decision to trade for Manning. “We felt very comfortable brining him in to lead this team deep into the playoffs, while Andy learns from one of the greatest QB’s to ever play the game. Unfortunately, neither QB has meshed within our system, which has caused us to turn to Josh going forward. He has a unique skill set in that he can not only throw the ball, but he has the ability to hurt teams with his legs as well. We are very confident that his style of play will match up extremely well with what we are trying to do as an offense.” It would not take long for the Ravens to take full advantage of the Suggs pick. After big completions to wide receivers Jacoby Jones and Torrey Smith, QB Joe Flacco would hand the ball off to RB Ray Rice for a one yard TD to take an early 7-0 lead. The opportunistic Ravens defense looked to strike again on the Bengals next possession, but dropped interceptions by linebacker Courtney Upshaw and safety Brian Pollard on 2nd and 3rd down lead to a punt. After a return of 40 yards on the punt the Ravens would try going for the throat on first down. Looking to hit Torrey Smith deep down the field off play action, Flacco would be force to throw the ball sooner than he had hoped. The pressure from the Bengals defensive lineman prohibited Flacco from stepping into the pocket, causing the underthrown ball to be picked off. In what is common practice, the Bengals looked to go for the homerun on offense immediately following the big defensive play; however, in doing so Johnson would make a costly mistake. Looking to get the ball over to his elite receiver A.J. Jenkins, Johnson would be picked off by cornerback Lardarius Webb, who returned the int to the house for six, extending the Ravens early lead to 14-0. Things would only get worse for Johnson and the Cincinnati offense, as his very next pass on first down was picked off by rookie safety Matt Elam to end the first quarter. Elam’s interception would set up a two yard rushing touchdown for Ray Rice, pushing Baltimore’s lead to 21-0. “As a defense, our focus all week long was on generating more turnovers. We felt like if we got after the QB early that clock in his head would speed up leading to more opportunities for our secondary and linebackers to make some plays,” answered Suggs when asked about the teams dominating defensive performance. Whether it was the Ravens blitz or simply trying to hard to make a play, things would not get better for Johnson on Cincinnati’s ensuing possession. Looking to hit WR Mohamed Sanu over the middle on third and 7, the veteran journeyman QB was picked off by outside linebacker Elvis Dumerville. Forced to punt after a great tackle by Bengal cornerback Terrance Newman, Baltimore was unable to take advantage of the interception. In hopes of helping settle down their quarterback, as well as providing some rest for their defense, Cincy turned to the running game to start their next drive. After several nice runs by rookie RB Giovanni Bernard and a couple of completions by Johnson the Bengals pushed the ball into Raven territory for the first time during the game. On a first and 10 from the Ravens 44 yard line, Johnson trucked LB Terrell Suggs en route to a 44 yard touchdown. “Definitely. They most certainly will, I know it,” said Suggs when asked if he expected his teammates to give him a hard time during the teams film session after being bulldozed by Johnson. “The jokes started in the locker room post game, and they will continue to come I’m sure of it.” Following the big play by Cincinnati, Flacco would hit WR Smith for a 65 yard TD to make the score 28-7 Ravens at half time. Other than an Andre Ellington 30 yard screen pass for a touchdown and a Ravens fumble recovery at the end of the quarter, the third was a relatively quiet. Starting the fourth quarter up 35-7 with the ball, the Ravens would tack on a field goal pushing their lead to 31. Although the game was essentially over, the Bengals offense looked to gain some momentum heading into next week. In what was their best drive of the game, Johnson capped Cincy’s final drive of the game with a rushing TD off the read option making the final score Cincinnati 14 – Baltimore 38. These two teams will close the season out in week 17 as the Ravens travel to Cincinnati. Although their seasons are heading in opposite directions, you can rest assured the Bengals will look for revenge in the rematch.