Published: Fri, September 14, 2018
Sport | By Cameron Gross

Bengals' A.J. Green scores three TDs - in 17 minutes

Bengals' A.J. Green scores three TDs - in 17 minutes

"That was a great way to start tonight, to come out hot like we did to set the tone", Dalton said.

Bengals play at Carolina. But even though the Bengals (2-0, 1-0 AFC North) are undefeated, their identity is a bit more confusing than their stat line.

The Ravens were out of the playoffs for the third straight year - Buffalo got its long-awaited chance instead.

The Cincinnati Bengals and Baltimore Ravens will meet at Paul Brown Stadium later this evening.

Joe Flacco was sharp in an opening 47-3 win over the Bills, but couldn't do anything against Cincinnati until the Bengals led by three touchdowns.

"If I were to say 'no, ' I'd be lying", Ravens cornerback Brandon Carr said. "We've got a long way to go". The final game of a 7-9 finish became the start of an overhaul for their offense that finished last in the league. Running back Joe Mixon was outstanding in the Bengals 34-23 win last week and gives the Bengals a diversified attack that the Ravens simply don't have. With the Steelers tying the Browns in Week 1, and nobody having a clue when Steelers star Le'Veon Bell will return from his long holdout, the victor of this game could have an early stranglehold on the keys to the division with a 2-0 start on the line. The Bengals scored on the next three ensuing drives with Green responsible for two more touchdowns - a 32 yarder and another short score from the red zone. Flacco completed 25 of 34 passes for 236 yards and three scores before being rested. His passer rating of 121.7 was his highest since 2014. He's fit in smoothly with the new trio of targets. Suggs just missed bating it down as Dalton eyed Green slanting from the right. "Crabtree has a special way of running routes and getting in position and making big catches".

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It will mark Baltimore's first real test of the season. Joe Flacco went from Trash to Elite, back to Trash, back to Elite, seemingly alternating interceptions with touchdowns in what could be called a microcosm of his career. Andy Dalton looked like it was 2013-15 again, when he was thought of a soon-to-be breakout MVP candidate, as he tossed four touchdown passes in the first half and displayed more zip on his passes than we've seen from him in recent seasons.

Dalton is coming off one of his worst seasons, tied largely to the offensive line's failures. Flacco was sacked on each of Baltimore's first three possessions, and he forced a throw that was picked off, setting up the first of Dalton's three touchdown passes to A.J. Green.

How many times has A.J. Green broken the hearts of Ravens Flock?

The Ravens finally got on the board in the second quarter when Javorius Allen rushed for a 1-yard touchdown.

Thursday Night football is a proper divisional match-up this week as Baltimore head to Cincinnati.

Baltimore: Flacco and the Ravens offense took almost an entire half of football to get into a groove, and by then it was too late. The Bengals are 18-45 in those games.

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