The second half was a different story, but the Bengals did just enough to hold onto the AFC North victory and begin the 2018 season with a 2-0 record.
"We came out hot," Dalton told reporters." That's exactly how we wanted to start the game. Big win for us. To put us at 2-0 to start the year. We got a leg up in the division, which is good, so it was exactly what we wanted to do."
Dalton completed 24-of-42 passes for 265 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions. Joe Flacco led the Ravens by completing 32-of-55 throws for two scores and two interceptions. Green finished the game with five catches for 69 yards, in addition to the trio of scores.
"We obviously got off to a fast start today," Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said. "It was needed. I think the main thing today is we took care of the football, didn't have a turnover in the game. We were able to force the early one on defense and get another one later on to help seal the game ... We are learning. We are growing. We have a long way to go. It's early in the season, but we came out here tonight and played pretty solid in all three phases."
Neither team scored on its opening drive, before the Bengals took a lead by capitalizing off of a turnover. Bengals rookie safety Jessie Bates picked off Flacco on the first play of the Ravens' second drive. Five plays later, Dalton found Green on a four-yard scoring throw.
The Bengals stopped the Ravens on the next possession before Dalton and Green hooked up for a 32-yard touchdown on the following drive to give the Bengals a 14-0 lead.
After another defensive stop, the Bengals completed a 72-yard drive with a seven-yard touchdown toss from Dalton to Green.
The Ravens finally got on the board on the next drive, marching 75 yards down the field on a 10-play drive, capped off with a one-yard scoring run by Javorius Allen. Dalton threw his final touchdown of the game on the next drive, hooking up with Tyler Boyd on a 14-yard score.
Cincinnati looked as though it would carry the lead into the half, but Baltimore Flacco put another score on the board with a one-yard touchdown throw to Mark Andrews with 12 seconds remaining in the frame to close the gap to 14 points.
Baltimore got the score even closer after shutting down Cincinnati on its first drive of the second half. Ravens kicker Justin tucker hit a 55-yard field goal to make the score 28-17 in the third quarter.
Each team had a difficult time keeping drives going in the frame, before Flacco found John Brown with a 21-yard touchdown toss with 9:41 remaining in the AFC North clash. That score got the Ravens within five points of tying the game.
Bengals kicker Randy Bullock pushed the lead to eight points with a 28-yard field goal with 3:03 remaining. Bengals safety Sean Williams recovered a Flacco fumble on the Ravens' next drive to take control of the game. Bullock belted a 40-yard field goal to make it a two-possession advantage for the Bengals on the next drive. Cincinnati's defense closed out the game as the Ravens' final drive ended as time expired.
"We battled," Flacco told reporters. "We had a chance to win the football game. When you get down like that, that's all you can ask. Anything can happen. We've been in plenty of types of those games on both sides. We just didn't play well enough early. It's too good of a football team to let that happen."