5 Reasons for the Outcome

1. The Baltimore Ravens' cause was ultimately doomed in a 27-20 defeat to the Cincinnati Bengals on Monday night to open the season because of six turnovers, including three fumbles and an interception by veteran quarterback Steve McNair. One of McNair's fumbles was returned 34 yards for a touchdown. Later, he left the game with a groin injury and didn't return.

2. Backup quarterback Kyle Boller's fourth-quarter pass intended for tight end Todd Heap was intercepted by Michael Myers in a dramatic goal-line stand to seal the win for the Ravens' AFC North rivals. In relief of McNair, Boller completed 2 of 6 passes for 19 yards.

3. Bengals All-Pro quarterback Carson Palmer completed 20 of 32 passes for 194 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions for a 100.3 rating. He was only sacked once.

4. Offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden left the game after aggravating his hyperextended left big toe. Middle linebacker Ray Lewis was hampered by a triceps injury that team officials compared to a hamstring pull. Return specialist B.J. Sams suffered a major knee injury, and his status for the remainder of the season is in doubt. Tight end Daniel Wilcox sprained his right ankle and was on crutches afterward

5. Bengals wide receivers T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Chad Johnson combined for 14 receptions for 145 yards and two touchdowns, including Houshmandzadeh's game-winning 7-yard score with 8:48 remaining to regain the lead following safety Ed Reed's 63-yard punt return for a touchdown. Baltimore also committed 10 penalties for 86 yards.

Aaron Wilson covers the Baltimore Ravens for the Carroll County Times and the Annapolis Capital.

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