BALTIMORE — A second straight overtime loss reinforced for Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton just how slim the difference is between winning and losing in the NFL.
Cincinnati rallied from a 17-point deficit and forced overtime on a desperation heave from Dalton to A.J. Green on the final play of regulation Sunday.
But the Baltimore Ravens bounced back in overtime and won 20-17 on a 46-yard field goal by Justin Tucker with 5:27 left in the extra session.
The spirited comeback, the 51-yard TD pass to Green and a tremendous performance by Bengals linebacker Vincent Rey all went for naught as Cincinnati (6-4) missed an opportunity to all but oust the defending Super Bowl champion Ravens (4-5) from the AFC North race.
It was the second straight overtime loss for the Bengals, who were coming off a 22-20 defeat at Miami.
“We were close today,” Dalton lamented. “We’ve been close in these overtime games. We’ve got to whatever we can to make one more play, put ourselves in a better position where we can score and have a chance to not let the other team have it. Again, it didn’t happen today.”
The Bengals were hurt by nine penalties totaling 134 yards, five sacks and three interceptions.
“We hurt ourselves a lot with penalties this game and we couldn’t catch a break,” coach Marvin Lewis said. “In the first half, it was just incredible. I’ve never seen a run of penalties so one-sided.”
The Ravens won with only 189 yards of offense. Joe Flacco threw two interceptions and lost a fumble, and Ray Rice gained a mere 30 yards on 18 carries.
“Sometimes you have to win by any means necessary,” Rice said. “Winning heals a lot. Now we’ve got to get on a roll to get back where we want to be.”