Cincinnati Bengals (5-4) at Baltimore Ravens (4-5)
Oh boy, do I really need to recap the Bengals week 10 game against the Saints? Do we all remember the 500 plus yards and 50 plus points the Saints put up on the Bengals? Or do I need to mention that the Saints punter wasn’t used once in the entire game? Or how the Bengals starters managed to only put up just seven points against the 31st ranked defense in the league? Do we all remember this? Good, because I don’t want to talk about it anymore.
This week the Bengals face another tough task. That is going into M&T Bank Stadium and facing a divisional rival, the Baltimore Ravens. Like the Bengals, the Ravens are also in the wild card playoff hunt and a win against the Bengals would give the Ravens matching records with Cincy. In order for the Bengals to keep their playoff hopes alive, they can only afford to lose two games max the rest of the year. And with games still left against the Chargers and Steelers, they cannot afford to lose this week. They will have to be sharp against a very good Baltimore defense.
Matchups to watch for…
Tyler Boyd vs. WR1 Coverage – I listed it last week and I will list it again this week. Marvin Lewis isn’t closing the door on A.J. Green playing this Sunday, but we all know that is a total smoke screen. We will not see A.J. Green Sunday, and that is that. Tyler Boyd MUST continue his breakout season against the Ravens top corners, Marlon Humphrey and Brandon Carr. The Ravens defensive backs have already publicly stated their plan to keep more eyes on Boyd. This could be his toughest game of the year.
Andy Dalton vs. The Ravens Secondary- The Baltimore Ravens secondary is good. They are averaging the 3rd fewest passing yard per game this year with an average of just 205 yards allowed through the air. Andy Dalton will have his hands full this weekend, especially with no A.J. Green. The last time the Bengals faced the Ravens Andy Dalton carved them up for 265 yards and 4 touchdowns, but that was with a healthy A.J. Green. Good Andy will have to be out in full force in order to get anything going against this stingy pass defense.
The Bengals Defense vs. A Backup Quarterback- The closer and closer we get to Sunday it becomes more and more evident that Joe Flacco isn’t starting. However, that doesn’t mean we are any closer to knowing who will start. The Ravens are keeping quiet, not telling us if Lamar Jackson or Robert Griffin III will get the start on Sunday. It is looking like it will be Griffen. Regardless of who gets the start the Bengals must take advantage of a backup getting the start.
My Prediction:The Bengals are one game removed from a blowout loss and have recorded three straight games where they given up 500+ yards on defense. I think the combination of a backup quarterback starting for the Ravens and Marvin Lewis taking over the defense, leads to the Bengals defense getting a little more on track. While the Bengals linebackers are all banged up, the rest of the defense should be able to step up. The Bengals seem to always have the Ravens number. It will take everything they have but I believe the Bengals escape with a win.
My Prediction: Bengals 27 Ravens 24
My Bengals Predictions on the year: 6-3
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Game: Cincinnati Bengals (5-4) at Baltimore Ravens (4-5)
Date/Time: November 17, 2018 at 1:00 p.m. EST
Location: M&T Bank Stadium
Uniforms: White Jersey
Last Matchup: 9/13/18 – Bengals 34 Ravens 23
Odds: Bengals, +4