CINCINNATI — The Bengals saw it as a chance to show a national audience that they are ready to take a place among the AFC North's elites.
Uh-uh. Not even close. Not for now, anyway.
The Bengals were shredded in just about every way Monday night during a 44-13 loss in Baltimore that matched the worst opening-game defeat in franchise history. Joe Flacco threw for 299 yards in little more than three quarters, and the Ravens piled up yards with one big play after another.
Stunning stat: Baltimore ran 58 plays and 20 of them went for at least 10 yards.
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"It was opening night, we were on national TV and we laid an egg," running back BenJarvis Green-Ellis said.
That egg was pretty scrambled, too.
The Bengals (0-1) were ready for the Ravens' no-huddle offense, prepared to see a lot of deep throws, expecting Ray Rice to get the ball when Baltimore needed a big play. They saw it all coming and couldn't stop any of it.
It turned into one of the worst debuts in franchise history. The Bengals also lost an opener by 31 points in 1991, a 45-14 defeat in Denver.
"Plain and simple, we got beat in all phases of the game," middle linebacker Rey Maualuga said. "There's no way else to put it."
The Bengals get a chance to fix a lot of things in the next few weeks, with the schedule loaded up with teams starting young quarterbacks. They play their home opener on Sunday against the Cleveland Browns (0-1), followed by games at Washington and Jacksonville, home against Miami and on the road against the Browns again.
"Let's get this out of the way and just get back to working," Green said.
Goodell, players to meet
NEW ORLEANS — NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and four players whose suspensions in connection with the bounty investigation were recently lifted by an appeals panel have agreed to new meetings on the matter. NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said no specific dates have been set for the meetings with Saints linebacker Jonathan Vilma, Saints defensive end Will Smith, Browns linebacker Scott Fujita and free agent defensive lineman Anthony Hargrove. Goodell is reconsidering whether to hand down revised suspensions.
Modell remembered fondly
BALTIMORE — Thousands of family and friends turned out Tuesday for the funeral of former Browns and Ravens owner Art Modell, including current and former players, Roger Goodell and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. An important figure in the development of the league, Modell also was one of the NFL's most polarizing owners. Cleveland fans never forgave him from moving his club to Baltimore for financial reasons after the 1995 season, but Ravens fans were fond of him and Modell also was remembered as a loving family man on Tuesday.
Ray Lewis, Ray Rice, Joe Flacco, Haloti Ngata and Torrey Smith were among current Ravens players who attended the service at Baltimore Hebrew Congregation. Lewis, Baltimore's second pick in the 1996 draft after Modell moved the franchise, gave a eulogy filled with emotion. "Rest in peace 'Pop Art,'" he said.
Monday's late game
Chargers 22, Raiders 14: Philip Rivers threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to Malcom Floyd and Nate Kaeding kicked five field goals to spoil Dennis Allen's debut as Oakland's coach. The host Raiders were looking to start a new era on a positive note but were done in by an offense that couldn't score a touchdown until the final minute and three botched punts after an injury to Pro Bowl long snapper Jon Condo.