Week 9: Ravens vs Bengals Preview


For some reason, WordPress is acting up, and messing up the layout and my changes on this post.  Hopefully it’s not this way for you, but there are crazy spaces between sections and crazy bold and italics.  All the content is right, but the layout is just crazy.

Opening Thoughts
This game is huge.  If the Ravens win, they’re right back into the thick of the Divisional and Wild Card race. If they lose, it’s going to take a lot to get back in it.  The Purple Birds finally showed us that the defense is still there as they shut down the Broncos’ highly rated offense, while putting up 30 points on offense, and seeing Ray Rice dominate another game.  Cincy has lost their best pass rusher, Antwan Odom, who wreaked some havoc in Week 5 against Joe Flacco.  Both teams want this game badly, so it should come out as an intense, hard-fought game on the field.

Key Matchups

  •  Bengals Rush Offense vs Ravens’ Front 7: In Week 5, Cedric Benson broke the record-setting streak in which the Ravens had not allowed a 100-yard rusher since late 2007.  Benson kept drives alive for the Bengals and wore down the Ravens defense, especially their linebackers.  It will be important to shut him down early and keep him quiet throughout the game.
  • Ravens Return Team vs Bengals Kick Coverage: For the first 6 games of the season, the Ravens’ special teams had been suspect and the subject of a lot of criticism.  Last week, it was awesome.  A return touchdown highlighted an incredible game of special teams, with good kicking and punting and great kick coverage.  This game will be very tight, and a big play on special teams, especially in the return game, would be huge for the Ravens.
  • Injury Report


    • OUT: None.  
    • DOUBTFUL: None.  
    • QUESTIONABLE: S Haruki Nakamura, DT Haloti Ngata, S Tom Zbikowski.  
    • PROBABLE: LB Prescott Burgess, TE Todd Heap, LB Jarret Johnson, LS Matt Katula, FB Le’Ron McClain, CB Frank Walker

    UPDATE: Ngata is INACTIVE.


    • OUT: None.
    • DOUBTFUL: None.
    • QUESTIONABLE: OT Andre Smith, S Roy Williams
    • PROBABLE: FB Jeremi Johnson, DT Tank Johnson, S Tom Nelson, RB Bernard Scott

    The Ravens will be pumped up and go to work, even being on the road.  If they score first, and can shut down the Bengals early, the crowd will be a non-factor, and this game will be an easy win, if they can perform like they did last week.  It’s easier said than done, so a 17-10 win is in the cards.