Few positives came out of the Bengals 44-13 defeat at Baltimore on Monday, but topping the list was the Cincinnati's reformatted offensive line.

An area expected to be a question mark entering the game flipped into the team's greatest strength.

With C Jeff Faine two weeks off of the street, a rookie in Kevin Zeitler and a second-year player in his fourth start Clint Boling flanking him, the line pushed around the stout Baltimore front.

The Bengals' running backs had 24 carries for 107 yards against the Ravens. The 4.5 yard average told some of the story, but the most impressive statistic was of those 24 runs not one went for zero or negative yardage. Every rush ended in a positive push.

Unfortunately for Cincinnati, when the score flipped they had to abandon the run in an attempt close the gap fast, but that doesn't cloud the performance of five guys who never played a game together.

“I just think the guys came off the ball and did a good job at the point of attack,” offensive coordinator Jay Gruden said. “We had some really good double teams with (Kevin) Zeitler and Andre (Smith ), they did a good job, the inside cutoffs were good. When we flipped and ran the other way it was just a good all-around blocking by everybody.”

In particular, they shined in short yardage. Seven times the Bengals ran the ball on third or fourth down with one or two yards to go. On those seven plays, they gained six first downs and carried for an average of 7.6 yards per rush.

The majority of those runs came up the middle behind the new pieces on the interior.

“Going in there to a very tough place to play, a very good defense and be able to run the ball effectively is definitely something that is an accomplishment playing with two young guys and a center that had been here a week,” LT Andrew Whitworth said.

Whitworth and Boling played particularly well. Neither allowed a sack, hit or hurry while Boling moved Ravens defenders so easily he finished the week rated as the top guard in the NFL, according to ProFootballFocus.com.

Not bad for his first start at left guard and fourth as a pro. The chemistry on the left side looked like two 10-year veterans next to each other.  

“Yeah, we played well together and were able to really pass off things and do things really well,” Whitworth said. “I’ve said all along I think Clint’s going to be a heck of a player.”

Follow Paul Dehner Jr. for Bengals updates from training camp on Twitter at @CBSBengals.