Ravens, Bengals back together after last season's thriller

Ravens, Bengals back together after last season's thriller

Green set the tone with touchdown catches of four, 28 and seven yards on consecutive possessions, a career high. Quarterback Andy Dalton looked as sharp as ever when throwing for four touchdowns in the first half against the Ravens, and then he led the offense to five straight punts starting at the 1:22 mark of the second quarter. Dalton finished 24 of 42 for 265 yards, throwing four touchdown passes for the fifth time in his career.

Coming off a Week 1 win, Kirkpatrick and the Bengals host the division-rival Baltimore Ravens on Thursday Night Football. Previous year the Bengals eliminated the Ravens from the playoffs in the final seconds and you can be guaranteed that the Ravens have not forgotten that. They changed four of their five starters on the line, and they looked better during a 34-23 win at Indianapolis on Sunday.

That made it three catches, three scores for Green and a shocking 21-0 lead for the Bengals.

"I think from last season, winning the last two games gave us momentum", receiver A.J. Green said.

Cincinnati used a 14-point first quarter to take a lead it would never relinquish.

"It just happened to fall that way", Green said. "We were in a groove".

Andy Dalton had it working in the first half, and outside of a couple of slightly off-target throws and a contested jump ball he forced on an end zone fade, he was spot on.

Again, Flacco tried to will Baltimore back into the game with this late drive, a 21-yard touchdown pass to John Brown.

Bengals kicker Randy Bullock added one more field goal for the final margin.

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The Bengals honoured their 1988 Super Bowl team at halftime, their last team to go deep into the playoffs. It will be the first divisional game for each team, and the victor will be in sole possession of first place in the NFC North.

And when the Bengals returned to Cincinnati after a second straight losing season, owner Mike Brown made a decision to give Lewis a two-year extension based in part upon the Bengals' 31-27 win that day.

The Ravens played most of the night without linebacker C.J. Mosley, who bruised his knee in the first quarter. At that point, no one would have blamed the Ravens for wanting a second game against the Bills this season, not the Bengals.

Green is the fourth Bengals receiver to catch three TD passes in a half, joining Marvin Jones (2013), Chad Johnson (2003) and Isaac Curtis (1973). Both sides enjoyed big wins in their opening games, so who can keep their momentum going?

A young man in a black shirt ran onto the field in the closing minutes undetected until he got near Dalton.

Bengals: Preston Brown was inactive with an injured right ankle, leaving Cincinnati without two top linebackers.

Ravens host the Denver Broncos.

The Carolina Panthers, Atlanta Falcons, and all of Green's future opponents in 2018 have certainly been put on notice after this jaw-dropping display of touchdown-scoring madness.