Bengals won't win without A.J. Green

Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green told The Cincinnati Enquirer today that he will be a game-time decision for Sunday's game at Baltimore, which is a serious concern if his assessment is accurate.

Without Green, the Bengals won't beat the Ravens. He is the top offensive playmaker on the team and perhaps on the field Sunday (that is, if the Ravens remember Ray Rice is playing).

When the rookie first-round draft pick was on the sideline Sunday, neither Jerome Simpson nor Andre Caldwell stepped up, which is why Andy Dalton struggled to throw the ball deep. Only little-known Andrew Hawkins provided any spark.

The Bengals will have trouble stringing together double-digit play scoring drives against the Ravens. They'll need to stretch the field (yes, even with Ed Reed back there). And no one can make plays deep like Green, who has four catches of more than 40 yards (tied for third-most in the NFL). The fourth overall pick of the 2011 draft, Green leads NFL rookies in receptions (41), receiving yards (635) and receiving touchdowns (six).

While Green expressed uncertainty, the Bengals were optimistic about the receiver's chances of playing after he underwent an MRI.

"A.J. should be fine," head coach Marvin Lewis said Monday.