When the Ravens visit Paul Brown Stadium Sunday, they will serve as a visible reminder of the Cincinnati Bengals’ worst loss of the season.
The Ravens walloped the Bengals, 44-13, in the first of two Monday night games on Sept. 10, one of two times this season that Cincinnati lost by 10 points or more. (The Cleveland Browns beat the Bengals, 34-24, on Oct. 21.)
The 31-point rout was Cincinnati’s worst result since Jan. 3, 2010 when the New York Jets beat them 37-0.
That’s why defensive tackle Geno Atkins didn’t disagree with the notion that the 9-6 Bengals owe the 10-5 Ravens one.
“Oh yeah,” Atkins said during a conference call with Baltimore media Wednesday. “That’s how we’re going to come out and basically play. Plus, it’s a rivalry game. So [we’re going to] come out there and play an AFC North-type game.”
That Week 1 game featured zero touchdowns by Andy Dalton (only the second time this season for the quarterback) and 430 yards and 26 first downs compiled by the Ravens offense (the third- and second-most allowed by Cincinnati, respectively).
“It was a long time ago, but that was a loss, one that we got beat in,” Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said Wednesday. “We didn’t play very well to begin the football game, fought back into it, and then got closed out. Didn’t play very well to finish it. But it was a long time ago, 15 weeks ago, and a lot of football has been played since then. We have to prepare to play. They’re a good team, and we know we’re going to have to play really good football.”
Atkins admitted that the manner in which the Ravens won that game resonated with the Bengals players – who have won six of their last seven games – for a while.
“We still think about it, and we kind of watched the film today, and a lot of guys were just amazed at how far we’ve come along,” he said. “Seeing that game and seeing how we’re playing now is like night and day.”
But Lewis said he’s not inclined to use that loss as a motivational tool this week.
“Motivation kind of gets over when you get hit in the mouth,” he said. “The emotion, motivation stuff, that’s what people write about. You’ve got to make football plays to win football games.”