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Takeaways and Graham’s Foot the Difference in 21-7 Win

Graham kicks one of his 7 field goals  

Where has this defense been the whole season? After allowing almost 500 yards last week to the Bills, the Bengals defense on Sunday finally showed up, and with it came a sweep of the Ravens with a 21-7 win in Baltimore. The win may be too late for the Bengals, who still trail Pittsburgh by four games in the AFC North with just seven left, but nevertheless, the 3-6 team will take it. Kicker Shayne Graham was the story, as he hit on seven field goals, one short of the NFL record set a few weeks back by Titans kicker Rob Bironas. “I think it says a lot for our team,” the kicker said. “Everyone’s kind of put us in a hole right now, you have to give a lot of credit to our defense.”

The defense held the Ravens in check all day, grabbing six Baltimore turnovers and making life tough for former co-MVP Steve McNair, who was pulled by coach Brian Billick in the 4th quarter for Kyle Boller. The Bengals D allowed McNair to throw for just 128 yards. Overall Baltimore had just 272 yards of offense, 66 rushing and 206 passing.

Cincy’s offense was not spectacular, but it did enough in getting into range for Graham’s seven kicks. Carson Palmer was 23-for-34 for 271 yards, and the running game of Rudi Johnson and Kenny Watson combined to rush for 80 yards on 31 carries, and they were able to chew up some of the clock to keep the Ravens offense off the field. The Bengals held the ball for 35:42 while Baltimore only had 24:18 of possession.

Next week the Bengals are at home as they host the 4-5 Arizona Cardinals, who defeated the Detroit Lions on Sunday. Kickoff at Paul Brown Stadium is 1pm.

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