Ravens vs. Bengals: Keys to victory

2 of 4

Oct 26, 2014; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Baltimore Ravens defensive end Haloti Ngata (92) knocks the ball away from Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) as inside linebacker Daryl Smith (51) picks up the loose ball during the fourth quarter at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Key to victory #1: The pass rush has to show up

The Ravens are two games into the season, and they’re still trying to figure things out on both sides of the ball.  In week 1, they managed 4 sacks, 2 hits, and 9 hurries on Peyton Manning, and the results were 0 offensive touchdowns.

More from Ravens News

In week 2, they managed only 1 sack, 4 hits, and 7 hurries, and it led to 37 offensive points.  After finishing second in the NFL in sacks in 2014, the Ravens are currently sitting at 11th.  The loss of Terrell Suggs isn’t going to help, either.

The difference between these two games?  The Raiders have the 5th best pass blocking offensive line in the NFL after two weeks, while the Broncos are 16th.  The Bengals, who have had one of the better o-lines in football for a few years now, rank 3rd.

And Andy Dalton is on fire so far, going 41/60 (68.3%) for 483 yards, 5 touchdowns, 0 interceptions, and a 120.3 QB rating over two games.  The emergence of tight end Tyler Eifert, the return of #2 receiver Marvin Jones, and the dominance of the running game have all been contributing factors to that success.

If the Ravens want to slow Dalton and the Bengals’ offense down, they are going to need to get pressure on him.  Which is easier said than done, unfortunately.

Next: Key to victory #2

More from Ebony Bird