Bengals have opportunity to prove themselves in Baltimore
September 10, 2012INDIANA SPORTS PAGE
BALTIMORE - When it comes to the Bengals offense, you can’t mention Andy Dalton without mentioning A.J. Green. They are so joined at the hip that they did the first pitch at last Tuesday’s Reds game, with Dalton throwing to Green.
After becoming the most prolific rookie quarterback/receiver duo in NFL history and the first rookie duo to make the Pro Bowl, one of the few things they didn’t accomplish last season was beat a playoff team. They were also winless in four attempts against the Ravens and Steelers.
• Joe Reedy's Bengals blog
Dalton, Green and the rest of the Bengals get their first shot at proving they belong in conversations about the AFC North title Monday night when they face the Ravens in the Monday Night Football opener at M&T Bank Stadium.
Despite a surprising 9-7 record and playoff appearance last season, most have picked the Bengals to finish behind the Ravens and Steelers in the division. They are 7-point underdogs against defending division champion Baltimore, who has won 10 straight regular-season games at home and came within a field goal of making it to the Super Bowl.
Said Dalton of his division rivals: “For us to play really good teams like that every year, twice a year, and for this team and this offense and everybody to get to where we want to be, we’ve got to find ways to beat those teams. ”
Dalton has had some success against the Ravens. He threw for 375 yards in last year’s game here, which was the most a quarterback had against the Ravens last season. Three of the completions were for over 40 yards. But he also threw three interceptions, which led to 14 Ravens points. Despite trailing by 17 early in the fourth quarter, Dalton and the Bengals nearly rallied back. They drove to the Ravens 7 with 50 seconds left and had a chance to tie, but communication breakdowns and an intentional grounding penalty caused the drive to stall.