Lack of preseason hurting Bengals' O

Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker

BALTIMORE -- The Cincinnati Bengals offense has been the strength of their team for a long time, but not today.

Although Baltimore's defense has a lot to do with it, quarterback Carson Palmer and his skill players do not look as sharp as they have in the past.

Receivers T.J. Houshmandzadeh (hamstring) and Chad Ocho Cinco (shoulder) both missed significant time in training camp and the preseason. Palmer (broken nose) also missed the final exhibition game.

Now their passing game is trying to work out the kinks in the regular season opener, which is never a good idea, especially against the Ravens' veteran defense. Cincinnati already used three timeouts so far because of crowd noise. The pass protection has been shaky and Ocho Cinco didn't catch his first pass until the third quarter.


Rookie quarterback Joe Flacco just ran a 38-yard quarterback sneak to give the Ravens lead 17-3 after three quarters.