Steve McNair, Brian Billick

Ravens quarterback Steve McNair (left) and coach Brian Billick show their frustration during a 27-20 loss to the Bengals. McNair turned the ball over four times. (Sun photo by Lloyd Fox / September 10, 2007)

This game was the beginning of the end for coach Brian Billick in Baltimore. In their opener of the 2007 season in Cincinnati before a national Monday Night Football audience, the Ravens were battered and beaten. Coming off a 13-3 season, the Bengals dismantled the Ravens, 27-20, as quarterback Steve McNair turned the ball over four times (three lost fumbles and an interception).

It was a sign of things to come in the 2007 season for the Ravens, who slumped to 5-11, with Billick losing his job.

WHAT HAPPENED: The Ravens' offense committed six turnovers yet had a chance to tie the score in the fourth quarter. A controversial offensive pass interference call against Ravens tight end Todd Heap wiped out the tying touchdown. The Ravens even took the lead in the fourth quarter on Ed Reed's punt return of 63 yards with 12:07 left. Matt Stover's extra point gave the Ravens a 20-19 advantage. With 8:48 remaining in the game, a touchdown pass by Carson Palmer to T.J. Houshmandzadeh and a two-point conversion by Rudi Johnson gave the Bengals the 27-20 lead they would not relinquish.

KEY STATS: McNair was 20-for-34 for 203 yards, but he lost three fumbles and threw an interception. ... Palmer was 20-for-32 for 194 yards and two touchdowns. ... Ravens running back Willis McGahee rushed for 77yards on 19 carries.

QUOTABLE: "This will never happen again, putting my team in a position with six turnovers. This will never happen again."

- McNair

Source: Baltimore Sun archives