Around the AFC North: Week 2

CINCINNATI: The Bengals' lack of recent success at M&T Bank Stadium made their season-opening victory over the Ravens that much sweeter. The Bengals hadn't won in Baltimore since Oct. 11, 2009 prior to Sunday's 23-16 triumph.

"The last time I checked, we won the AFC North (Division) last year, so this shouldn't be a surprise," defensive tackle Domata Peko said. "However, coming in here and winning says a lot about our team. It's a huge win for us. It's on the road and it's an AFC North game.

"We need to keep going."

Quarterback Andy Dalton did his best to keep his first win in Baltimore in perspective.

"It was the only place I had not won since joining the Bengals," Dalton said. "There are a lot of tough places to play in this league, and this is certainly one of the toughest. We have to remember it's just one win, and we have a lot of games left."

Left tackle Andrew Whitworth was impressed with what the Bengals accomplished in their first game under offensive coordinator Hue Jackson.

"We went on the road, didn't turn the ball over and gave up no sacks," Whitworth told Bengals.com. "If we score a couple of touchdowns in the red zone (Cincinnati was 0-for-2) it's a blowout, it wouldn't have been close.

"I think when you get six scores in a game (five field goals and a touchdown) you're doing something right."

BALTIMORE: The Ravens gained 91 yards on 20 carries in Sunday's loss to the Bengals, Baltimore's first game without suspended running back Ray Rice. Then, the Ravens announced on Monday afternoon they had terminated Rice's contract, without further comment.

Seventh-year pro Justin Forsett had 70 yards on 11 attempts. Third-year pro Bernard Pierce had 14 yards on six carries and was benched after losing a fumble in the second quarter.

"We're not too enamored with fumbles," Coach John Harbaugh said. "It's not what we're looking for from our running backs."

The Ravens gained 97 yards and scored zero points in the first half against the Bengals.

"We just played about as bad as you can in terms of just simple, fundamental things – throwing, catching, running routes, staying up, just running the ball, a couple of mental busts," quarterback Joe Flacco assessed. "Just fundamental things that you do every day, and it's just part of the routine, and we just weren't doing (them) well."

CLEVELAND: The Browns weren't claiming a moral victory after rallying from a 27-3 halftime deficit to tie the Steelers at 27-27 in the fourth quarter of Sunday's 30-27 loss. But quarterback Brian Hoyer appreciated the effort.

"I told those guys at the end of the game that I'll take them to the end of the Earth if we're going to fight back like that," Hoyer said. "Obviously, we don't want to have to always do that. But if you have the heart and character to battle back against that team to where we were, I'll take that team any day."

Coach Mike Pettine, while also acknowledging his team's resolve, didn't lose sight of the bottom line.

"We take out of it that we're 0-1," Pettine said. "I told the team afterwards this is a pass-fail league. We failed. I'm proud of the effort in the second half, but it's a valuable lesson to learn. You're behind 24 points at halftime, I don't know what the percentages are for coming back and winning. I guarantee it's probably right around one (percent).

"There are no moral victories in this league, but I was proud of the resolve and character that showed up. But it doesn't change the fact we're 0-1."

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