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Here is what's on my mind after the Ravens lost to the Bengals, 15-10, on Sunday afternoon:

1. Get ready for the calls for Marc Bulger. Third-year quarterback Joe Flacco gave the Ravens the worst performance of his career – at least in regular-season play – in Sunday's 15-10 loss to the Bengals. Flacco was out of sync from the get-go, looking very uncomfortable in the pocket and failing to consistently connect with his wide receivers. He completed 17 of his 39 attempts for 154 yards, and chucked a career-high four interceptions, the first two coming on awful decisions. Flacco played so poorly, you can't help but wonder if the Ravens coaching staff considered giving him the hook. Based on performance alone, he deserved it.

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2. Lost in the loss was the play of the Ravens defense, which harassed Bengals quarterback Carson Palmer into completing less than 50 percent of his passes, kept running back Cedric Benson from making it three straight 100-yard games against the Ravens and held the Cincinnati offense to 253 total yards. Just like it did in the Week 1 win over the Jets, the defense bent but didn't break, bailing the offense out after Flacco's picks and seven Ravens punts. The Ravens have yet to allow a touchdown in 2010.

3. The Ravens committed just five penalties, but two critical second-half calls – one justified, one not – led to two Cincinnati field goals. The first came in the third quarter when Ray Lewis was flagged for tripping Palmer. It was the right call, even though I don't think it was intentional. The second costly call came late in the game when Terrell Suggs was slapped with a roughing-the-passer penalty for tackling Palmer as he released a pass. Expect an apology from the NFL for that one sometime this week.

4. Ravens offensive coordinator Cam Cameron should shoulder much of the blame for the offense's struggles because he inexplicably ignored Pro Bowl running back Ray Rice. Rice rushed for 87 yards on 16 carries – that's 5.4 yards per pop – and caught four passes for 30 yards. Given Rice's effectiveness and that the Ravens never trailed by more than one score, Cameron should have kept the ball in the hot hands of Rice during the second half instead of those of his ice-cold quarterback.

5. It was shifty slot receiver Jordan Shipley, not Chad Ochocinco or Terrell Owens, who led the Bengals with five catches. Impressive stuff from the rookie, but I doubt he'll get his own reality show anytime soon.

6. I've got to give props to the Ravens secondary, which was pretty good against the Bengals. The challenge of shutting down Ochocinco and Owens was much more difficult than stopping whoever Mark Sanchez was one-hopping passes to on Monday night. The Ravens didn't give up the big play, but they also missed out on a couple of big plays of their own when Dawan Landry and Tom Zbikowski dropped would-be interceptions in the first half. Those might have been game-changers.

7. Six days after an outstanding game against the Jets, Ray Lewis had 10 tackles and a sack against the Bengals, putting to shame twenty-somethings like me who are sore after men's league hockey games and beer pong tournaments. Lewis might have lost a step, but at age 35, he's still pretty damn good.

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