Sep 7, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis speaks with Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh after the game at M&T Bank Stadium. Cincinnati Bengals defeated Baltimore Ravens 23-16. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Game 8: Baltimore Ravens vs. Cincinnati Bengals
When: Sunday, 10/26/2014 at 1:00 p.m.
Where: Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, Ohio
Live Stream: NFL.com
Radio: 98 Rock, Sirius XM
Local Radio Crew: Gerry Sandusky, Stan White, Qadry Ismail
TV: CBS (coverage map)
TV Crew: Jason Kutcher, David Diehl
Preview: The Cincinnati Bengals came into the 2014 season as seemingly everyone’s favorite to win the AFC North and perhaps even a playoff game or two. It made a lot of sense at the time, as this roster is one of the most complete in the NFL and is ripe with talent at almost every position.
The Bengals got off to a good start, beating the Ravens in week one and winning their first three games. But then things began to fall apart. The Bengals lost two out of their next three and also lost all world wide receiver A.J. Green to injury. Their offense proceeded to sputter, culminating with a shutout loss to the Colts last week.
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The Ravens, on the other hand, have won two games in a row by outscoring their opponents 77-24. The offense continues to play well, though not 100% consistently, while the defense has really come on. The Raven’s pass rush has come to life after starting the season slowly, recording 11 sacks the last two weeks.
While the possible return of A.J. Green could make a major difference in the outcome of this game, perhaps an even bigger factor will be how the Bengal’s excellent offensive line handles the Raven’s suddenly dominant pass rush. Whoever wins this battle in the trenches will most likely win the game as well.
Ultimately, we think that the Ravens will steal a victory in Cincinnati, though it may not be pretty. Playing on the road isn’t the Raven’s forte, even though they got the job done against a horrible Bucs team a couple weeks ago. The Bengals aren’t as bad as they looked last week, and they will be motivated after laying an egg in Indianapolis.
Betting Line: Bengals, 46u -10, -1 -10
Prediction: Ravens 21, Bengals 17