Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker
BALTIMORE, Md. -- The Ravens became the first AFC North team to earn a division win this season with a 17-10 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals at M&T Bank Stadium.
In our view, the difference was Baltimore overwhelming Cincinnati at the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball.
The offense kept Cincinnati's defense away from rookie quarterback Joe Flacco (129 yards, one touchdown run) just enough to allow the rookie to put points on the board. And the Ravens' defense, which was No. 6 in the NFL last year, held true to form by stuffing the run and pressuring quarterback Carson Palmer.
Healthy cornerbacks made a world of difference in Baltimore's defensive scheme. Chris McAlister and Samari Rolle covered Cincinnati's receivers well. Chad Ocho Cinco made his only catch in the third quarter, and the Ravens' complicated blitz packages confused the Bengals' offensive line.
This was an interesting matchup because neither team had showed much promise in the preseason. What we learned is physicality usually prevails in the AFC North, and Cincinnati will have to improve in that category if it wants to win inside the division, particularly on the road.
Final Atlanta 24 Jacksonville 14 Final Detroit 23 Buffalo 0 Final Indianapolis 7 Cincinnati 35 Final New York 7 Philadelphia 37 Final St. Louis 13 Miami 14 Final Kansas City 14 Green Bay 34 Final Carolina 10 Pittsburgh 0 Final New England 13 New York 16 Final Washington 24 Tampa Bay 10 Final Baltimore 22 New Orleans 13 Final Chicago 13 Cleveland 33 Final San Francisco 40 Houston 13 Final Minnesota 19 Tennessee 3 Final Denver 27 Dallas 3 Final Arizona 9 San Diego 12 Final Seattle 31 Oakland 41