Week 8 Preview: Ravens at Bengals

| October 26, 2014 | 0 Comments

ravensBaltimore Ravens (5-2)

At

Cincinnati Bengals (3-2-1)

Sunday at 1pm, Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, OH

Line: Ravens -1

It is only week 8, but the division is likely on the line when the Ravens travel to Cincinnati to take on the Bengals. The winner of today’s matchup will take a strong hold on the AFC North. In their first matchup in week 1, the Bengals dominated the stats but only beat the Ravens by 7 points. Since that game, the Ravens have looked like the much better team while the Bengals lost AJ Green to injury and haven’t won a game since September 21st.

The Ravens have yet to beat a team with a winning record but they are playing great on both sides of the ball. Flacco and the Ravens have struggled in Cincinnati in prior seasons. Which trend will continue? Will the Ravens get a huge division win? Here is my take:

Ravens offense vs Bengals defense:

In week 1 the Bengals defense dominated the Ravens offense, but what a difference six weeks makes. Currently the Bengals defense is 27th against the pass giving up 270 yards a game and 30th against the run yielding 146 yards per game. And, today, they are facing a top 10 Ravens offense. This is not the same offense the Bengals faced in the previous matchup and an offense that should be feared.

The Ravens have put up big numbers against some very bad teams but I really believe they are a legitimate top 10 offense and will end the season that way. Justin Forsett has put up more yards than Gio Bernard in less carries and Joe Flacco has been much better than Andy Dalton. If Flacco gets time to throw, expect the Ravens to put up some big numbers and lots of points.

Advantage:  Ravens

Bengals offense vs. Ravens defense:

No matter how many games the Bengals win, I will never be an Andy Dalton believer. I also think the Ravens defense will be dominant against Dalton and the Bengals offense on Sunday. Mohamed Sanu is a good receiver but he is no AJ Green and that changes the way defenses game plan for the Bengals. Expect the Ravens to load the box to stop Gio Bernard and make Andy Dalton and the Bengals receivers beat them –something I just don’t think they are capable of doing against this Ravens defense.

Advantage:  Ravens

Special Teams:

Different week, same analysis.  Jacoby Jones still stinks and Justin Tucker is better than the opposing team’s kicker – just ask Pacman Jones how he feels about Mike Nugent.  If this comes down to a field goal game, which I don’t think it will, the Ravens have the clear advantage.

Advantage:  Ravens

Prediction:

The Bengals are 11-0-1 in their last 12 home games and the Ravens have struggled in Cincinnati the past few seasons, but those trends should change on Sunday. While the Ravens have yet to beat a team with a winning record, the Bengals have only beaten the Ravens, Falcons and Titans and got blown out by the Patriots and Colts.

This is a much different team than the one that beat the Ravens in week 1 and the Ravens look like the much better team at this point in the season. I believe the Ravens will make a statement that they are indeed “for real” and a legitimate contender.

Ravens 27 Bengals 17

 

Follow Marco on twitter @mromanell and Southbmore.com @southbmore1

 

About the Author:

I have spent my entire 30 years living in Maryland and I love everything about this city. Despite the bad reputation the city has, Baltimore will always be a special place to me and I love living here. There is nothing better then Sunday afternoons at M&T Bank Stadium and summer nights at Camden Yards when the Yard is packed. You can find me all over the city so don't hesitate to share your opinion of me good or bad. Who knows, if you see me out maybe I will buy you a Natty Boh. Lets go Ravens and Lets go O's!!! Follow me on Twitter at @MRomanell.
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