In two meetings last season, Cincinnati beat Baltimore twice. Cincinnati won the 1st encounter in Baltimore 17-14. Bengals RB Cedric Benson became the first back in 40 games to rush for 100+ yards. He had 120 yards. The 2nd game in Cincinnati wasn’t as close. The Bengals stiffening defense led them to a 17-7 victory. Benson once again went 100+ rushing yards with 117.
After week one, you would assume that Baltimore will beat Cincinnati on Sunday. The Ravens had the most dominating one-point win I’ve ever seen when they took care of the Jets on Monday night 10-9. The Bengals struggled mightily with their offense, trailing 31-3 after a Brandon Tate kickoff return touchdown to start the 2nd half.
I believe the key to the game will be the Cincinnati passing game.. Without ball-hawking safety Ed Reed and CB Dominique Foxworth, Baltimore is a bit thin in the secondary. Against an inexperienced New England secondary, the Bengals were unable to obtain any rhythm offensively until the 2nd half. The offensive line will have to give QB Carson Palmer the necessary time to operate. The Jets took a very conservative approach against the Baltimore defensive backs on Monday. Sanchez rarely had any chances airing it out. The T.O.chocinco tandem better be ready to play.
(Bengals need a big game from these two)
As for the running game, Benson didn’t do much. Bernard Scott got a bulk of the carries in the 2nd half. We’ll see if Benson can go for three straight 100+ rushing yard games against the Ravens. That would be a great feat if the line can generate some running lanes for Benson to navigate through.
If the Cincinnati passing game gets going, Baltimore will have to get to the quarterback. OLB Terrell Suggs will provide the pressure on the outside, and DT Ngata inside. Did you see what Ngata did to poor Jets LG Matt Slausen, WOW!
Offensively, the Ravens are methodical. They like to run on 1st and 2nd downs, and then let QB Joe Flacco loose on 3rd downs. Flacco went 9/14 on 3rd downs on Monday against a ferocious and tricky Jets defense. He’s a fantastic decision maker, and can make any throw. Flacco got some help from the receivers. Newcomer Anquan Boldin had 110 receiving yards last week. TE Todd Heap had some fantastic grabs. Flacco will have to play well once again against one of the top cornerback duo’s in football.
RB Ray Rice reminds me of Maurice Jones-Drew. Like Rice, Jones-Drew isn’t the tallest back in the league, but are strong in the hips and thighs and can break tackles. They are both lethal in the open field, and catching the ball out of the backfield.
PREDICTION- Cin 20-17
Unlike the Jets, I think the Bengals will exploit the Ravens secondary a bit. They won both meetings last year, and they have to win after a sorry week one showing.
About the Author
Written by Adrian Fedkiw
I currently work for the Sports Network. It's the best job ever! I am a 2010 graduate of Temple University where I majored in broadcast journalism, I LOVE SPORTS! That's why I am here. I have a vast knowledge and want to share my athletic intelligence with the world. Some people like to spend their time shooting down aliens in Halo; I like to spend my time watching sports, current and old. It's my passion! I got asked one time how I can watch a game over again when I already know the outcome. 5 minutes later, he's watching Happy Gilmore reciting all of the lines from the movie. Hypocrite! As for my favorite sports teams, I've been a lifelong Philadelphia sports fan. My favorite athlete is Allen Iverson. He didn't like practice that much, but when it came to gametime, no one let it all out on the floor like Iverson. He is absolutely beloved in the city of Brotherly Love. For college athletics, obviously I pay close attention to Temple. (Yes, football too) Even before I stepped foot on Temple's campus for the 1st time in 2005, I was a fan. Oh the good old days of John Chaney! Some other tidbits about myself, I love cheesesteaks, I hydrate myself with Welch's Grape Juice and Snapple. I love the HBO show Entourage. Also, when is Kenny Powers making his much anticipated return in Eastbound and Down!