Ravens, Smith get revenge in Cincinnati with 'amazing victory'

CINCINNATI -- A year after the Bengals accused the Ravens of taking "dirty" hits, Baltimore middle linebacker Roquan Smith delivered his biggest shot after Sunday's 27-24 win over Cincinnati.

"Revenge is best served as a cold dish," Smith said. "It's great to come in here [and] start their year off 0-2 in the division, too, if I'm not mistaken. It's great and we're happy about it."

In improving to 2-0 this season, the Ravens ended a three-game losing streak at Cincinnati that included last season's 24-17 wild-card playoff loss. Asked about the atmosphere in the locker room after Sunday's win, Smith again brought up the Bengals "not having a lot of respect, saying a lot of things about this and doing the stuff after they won last year in the playoffs and things of that nature."

"It was an amazing victory coming in here, taking over their place," Smith said. "Obviously, the guys talk a lot [and] don't have a lot of respect for a lot of individuals. You take that stuff personal."

Smith added, "It was a great win for the team and I'm just excited to be able to head back to Baltimore on the plane relaxing, feet kicked up with a nice W."

After the finale of the 2022 regular season, which Baltimore lost 27-16 in Cincinnati, some Bengals players took exception to how the Ravens played, accusing them of "dirty play." Ravens coach John Harbaugh responded at the time by saying his players played a "clean game."

All the talk has certainly ratcheted up the rivalry between the Ravens and Bengals.

"To put the AFC [North] champs, at home, down 0-2 in our division, that means something," Ravens offensive tackle Morgan Moses said. "Obviously we got to play them again and obviously we got to take care of business moving on forward. But we pride ourselves on this being the best division in football, so when you go out and play at a great level and you get a win, it means a lot more."