Joe Flacco does his best Jake Delhomme impression in loss to Bengals

CINCINNATI - SEPTEMBER 19: Michael Johnson  and Geno Atkins  of the Cincinatti Bengals sack quarterback Joe Flacco  of the Baltimore Ravens at Paul Brown Stadium on September 19, 2010 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

There are bad days in football and then there’s whatever Joe Flacco just did in Cincinnati today.

In a putrid display of football on Sunday, Joe Flacco was intercepted four times and completed just 17-of-39 passes for 154 yards in a 15-10 loss to the Bengals. At the start of the third quarter, he was 5-of-17 for 23 yards and one pick…yikes.

He did manage to lead the Ravens on an 80-yard scoring drive to start the second half, but everything went downhill again from there. He wound up throwing three of his four picks in the second half when the game was still in reach.

Credit must be given to Bengals’ defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer, who played a key role in Flacco’s horrendous outing. Following their embarrassing 38-24 loss to the Patriots last weekend, Zimmer took the blame for his defense playing so poorly. But he won’t have to do that this week, as his unit limited Baltimore to only 14 first downs and an average of 3.8 yards per pass completion (which is huge considering that most teams win when their average yards per pass is higher than their opponents’).

That said, while the Bengals’ defense got back on track, their offense was rather stagnant. Carson Palmer finished with a QB Rating of 60.1 on 16-of-35 passing for 167 yards and no touchdowns. Cedric Benson was also limited to 3.4 yards per carry (78 yards on 23 carries), although he was going up against a solid Ravens’ front seven.

On a positive note for the Bengals’ offense, T.O. caught three passes for 57 yards, which included a 29-yard reception. Chad Ochocinco also hauled in four passes for 44 yards and rookie Jordan Shipley got into the act with five catches for 42 yards. Palmer wasn’t very efficient overall, but he did complete passes to seven different receivers and also targeted rookie tight end Jermaine Gresham, who eventually has to get more involved in the passing game.

While I’ll stop short of calling this a statement game for the Bengals, it was important for them to beat a division rival one week after getting smacked by the Patriots. As for Flacco and the Ravens, this certainly played out like a letdown game, which is unfortunate considering Cincinnati is a division foe.

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