Final

Bengals 17

(4-1, 3-0 away)

Ravens 14

(3-2, 2-1 home)

Coverage: CBS

1:00 PM ET, October 11, 2009

M&T Bank Stadium, Baltimore, MD 

1 2 3 4 T
CIN 0 3 7 717
BAL 0 7 0 714

Top Performers

Passing: C. Palmer (CIN) - 271 YDS, 1 TD, 1 INT

Rushing: C. Benson (CIN) - 27 CAR, 120 YDS, 1 TD

Receiving: C. Johnson (CIN) - 7 REC, 94 YDS

Palmer connects with Caldwell on TD with 22 seconds left

ESPN.com news services

BALTIMORE -- In a duel for first place in the AFC North, the Cincinnati Bengals found a way to win another close game.

For the Baltimore Ravens, it was a familiar loss.

Walker: Win One For Zimmer

The Bengals won a game for assistant coach Mike Zimmer, whose wife passed away Thursday, writes James Walker. Blog

• AFC North blog

Carson Palmer threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to Andre Caldwell with 22 seconds left to cap an 80-yard drive fueled by Baltimore penalties, and the Bengals escaped with a 17-14 victory Sunday.

All five of Cincinnati's games this season have been decided by seven points or fewer. The Bengals have won three straight games by three points apiece, and at this point they seem like they wouldn't want it any other way.

"They believe they can win, no matter what the circumstances are," coach Marvin Lewis said. "We keep talking about that. Don't worry about it, don't flinch, keep playing."

The Bengals (4-1) appeared destined to come out on the short end of this one until Palmer masterfully directed the final drive -- with the help of three yellow flags.

An illegal contact penalty against Chris Carr and an unnecessary roughness call against Ray Lewis preceded the topper, a pass interference penalty against Frank Walker on a third-and-16 from the Baltimore 30 (although the infraction was called by the officials against Ed Reed).

On the next play, Palmer found Caldwell over the middle for the game-winning score.

Fast Facts

• Carson Palmer's 20-yard touchdown pass to Andre Caldwell gave the Bengals their fourth straight victory, their longest win streak since Week 11-14 of the 2006 season.

• All game-winning scores in Cincinnati's five games this season have been with under two minutes of regulation or overtime.

• Bengals also improved to 3-0 on the road (3-13 on road in 2007-08 combined).

• Baltimore allowed 120 rushing yards to Cedric Benson, the first 100-yard rusher against the Ravens since Larry Johnson in Week 14 in 2006.

• Rapid Reaction

-- ESPN Stats & Information

After the following kickoff, thousands of fans among the 71,161 directed a derisive chant toward the referee crew.

Cincinnati's Cedric Benson ran for 120 yards, becoming the first player in 40 games to eclipse 100 yards against the Ravens. Palmer was 18 for 31 for 271 yards, and Chad Ochocinco had seven catches for 94 yards.

"We weren't as sound as we should have been. Offensively, and as a whole, we had a couple of turnovers," Ochocinco said. "But we were able to find some breaks and make our way. We were able to capitalize on the last drive."

Baltimore (3-2) has lost two straight after starting 3-0 for the second time in franchise history. Last week, two roughing the passer calls played a key part in a 27-21 defeat at New England.

Against Cincinnati, the Ravens were penalized 10 times for 76 yards, with several of the infractions seemingly coming at the worst possible time.

"Some tough calls. But you can't leave it in their hands," Baltimore defensive tackle Kelly Gregg said.

It was a mantra repeated by several of his teammates.

"I'm not going there with you. I don't do the referee thing," defensive end Trevor Pryce said. "If you dominate, the calls don't matter."

The Ravens, quite simply, did not come close to dominating. They were limited to one offensive touchdown after averaging 32.5 points in their first four games, and the defense yielded 403 yards -- including 142 on the ground.

Which is one reason why the Ravens weren't overly critical of the officials.

Benson rushes past Ravens

Cedric Benson rushed 27 times for 120 yards and a touchdown to help the Bengals improve to 3-0 on the road this season. They were 3-13 on the road in 2007-08 combined. Benson turned it on in the second half, including a 28-yard TD run in the third quarter:

Benson by half
1st half 2nd half
Att 15 12
Yards 58 62
Avg 3.9 5.2
TD 0 1

-- ESPN Stats and Information

"The officials, they're just calling the game," Walker said. "These games are close because we let them be close."

Baltimore trailed 10-7 when Ray Rice took a screen pass from Joe Flacco, then turned upfield with several tacklers in his way. After ducking linebacker Brandon Johnson, the 5-foot-8 running back dipped his left arm and stayed upright by planting his fingers on the artificial turf before completing the 48-yard play.

Then it was Palmer's turn.

"That was Carson in the huddle, being very confident, being very sound, keeping everybody calm," Ochocinco said. "When he talks the way he does in that huddle, with that confidence and that swagger like that, there's no doubt that we're going to go down and score."

Palmer did it despite a sprained thumb on his non-throwing hand. He was injured bracing himself for a fall, a source told ESPN's Chris Mortensen.

It was the second time the Bengals had to rally. A 52-yard interception return for a touchdown by Reed gave the Ravens a 7-0 lead in the second quarter, and later in the half, Reed knocked the ball loose from Ochocinco that Baltimore recovered at its own 16.

The Bengals took a 10-7 lead in the third quarter with an 84-yard drive kept alive by a penalty against Baltimore cornerback Domonique Foxworth, who was called for illegal contact during a third-down play in which Palmer was sacked. Four plays later, Benson broke loose for a 28-yard touchdown run, which put him over 100.

Cincinnati botched the extra point, but the Ravens were called for illegal formation and Shayne Graham converted the extra chance.

Game notes


Larry Johnson of KC, in 2006, was the last RB to rush for 100 yards against the Ravens. ... Cincinnati is 4-2 in Baltimore over the last six years. ... The Bengals are 8 for 9 on fourth down this season.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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Team Stat Comparison

 
CIN
BAL
1st Downs2212
Passing 1st downs
117
Rushing 1st downs
75
1st downs from Penalties
40
3rd down efficiency
5-133-11
4th down efficiency
1-10-1
Total Plays6651
Total Yards403257
Yards per play6.15.0
Total Drives1111
Passing261175
Comp - Att
18-3122-31
Yards per pass
8.45.6
Interceptions thrown
12
Sacks - Yards Lost
1-102-11
Rushing14282
Rushing Attempts
3418
Yards per rush
4.24.6
Red Zone (Made-Att)0-20-1
Penalties7-3910-76
Turnovers22
Fumbles lost
10
Interceptions thrown
12
Defensive / Special Teams TDs01
Possession34:1925:41

Passing Leaders

CINC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Palmer18/312718.7111-10
BALC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTSACKS
Flacco22/311866.0122-11

Rushing Leaders

CINCARYDSAVGTDLG
Benson271204.4128
Palmer5183.608
BALCARYDSAVGTDLG
Rice14694.9021
Flacco199.009

Receiving Leaders

CINRECYDSAVGTDLGTGTS
Ochocinco79413.402110
Henry39230.70735
BALRECYDSAVGTDLGTGTS
Rice77410.61488
Heap7415.90119

Scoring Summary

SECOND QUARTERCINBAL
balTD12:17Ed Reed 52 Yd Interception Return (Steven Hauschka Kick) 07
cinFG10:11Shayne Graham 32 Yd 37
THIRD QUARTERCINBAL
cinTD00:52Cedric Benson 28 Yd Run (Shayne Graham Kick) 107
FOURTH QUARTERCINBAL
balTD06:59Ray Rice 48 Yd Pass From Joe Flacco (Steven Hauschka Kick) 1014
cinTD00:22Andre Caldwell 20 Yd Pass From Carson Palmer (Shayne Graham Kick) 1714