Ravens vs. Bengals: Keys to victory

1 of 4

Oct 26, 2014; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith (89) reacts after catching a pass for a touchdown but called back due to a penalty during the fourth quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium. Bengals defeated the Ravens 27-24. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Nobody saw this one coming.  After spending much of the offseason as a highly touted team, one that many felt might land in the Super Bowl, the Baltimore Ravens head home in a true must win situation. While 0-2 is bad, 0-3 could literally tank their playoff hopes for good.

History certainly says so, anyway.  Making matters worse, the Ravens host a division rival, the Cincinnati Bengals, that has started out the season strong on their way to a 2-0 record.  Which is exactly what their record was against the Ravens in 2014 as well.

So is it all doom and gloom?  Should we already write off this Ravens’ squad as the worst one since 2013? Well, not yet.  If the Ravens can turn things around this week, the schedule doesn’t get any easier, but they can keep hope alive.  After all, one team in each of the last two seasons has started 0-2 and made the playoffs.

But if the Ravens want to right the ship, they must fix what is currently broken.  This team can’t afford to falter in any major way against the Bengals, who are currently hitting on all cylinders.  They simply don’t have a lot of flaws at the moment.

Taking that into consideration, we’ve highlighted three things that we consider to be the keys to victory for the Ravens in week 3.  We’ll get started on the defensive side of things as the Ravens look to slow down the Bengals’ bevy of playmakers.

Next: Key to victory #1

More from Ebony Bird