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First half first impressions

Here are some quick observations on the 2012 Cincinnati Bengals after their first 30 minutes of the new season.

BenJarvus Green-Ellis looked fantastic at running back, showing great vision and acceleration when holes finally started to open up. He even flashed a little strength and a nose for the goal line on his touchdown run.

Cincinnati was able to pressure Flacco in obvious passing situations. They held the Ravens to 1-for-4 on third downs.

Andy Dalton handled the Baltimore pressure fairly well. The line got off to a slow start and Dalton had happy feet a couple times, but all-in-all, it was good and better than last season.

Andrew Hawkins showed why the Bengals were able to part ways with Jordan Shipley. He looks like a real impact player in the slot, picking up where he left off a season ago.

Here are three more quick hitters: The good, bad and ugly

THE GOOD: Joe Flacco. Yeah, it’s not good for us, but he played out of his mind in the first half. 12-for-15 for 183 yards and a score will get it done against most teams.

THE BAD: More slow starts. The Bengals had to rely on strong second halves a ton last season. Playing from behind is not the way to improvement in a tough division.

THE UGLY: Safety play. Cincinnati was beaten over the top by Torrey Smith on the opening play of the game then by Anquan Boldin for Baltiomore’s second TD. Taylor Mays’ helmet-to-helmet hit on Ed Dickson could have cost the Bengals more points.

We’ll be back for more after the game. In the meantime, check us out on Twitter @BengalsGab for in-game updates and analysis.

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