Ravens vs. Bengals: Keys to victory

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Sep 20, 2015; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals running back Jeremy Hill (32) is tackled by San Diego Chargers free safety Eric Weddle (32) as he carries the ball in the first half at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Key to victory #2: Slow down the Bengals’ ground game

As previously noted, much of Andy Dalton’s success through the air can be attributed to the Bengals’ impressive running game.  They are ranked 4th in the NFL in rushing yards and 1st in Pro Football Focus’ rushing rankings.  Their offensive line is ranked as the top overall run blocking unit as well.

Meanwhile, the Ravens’ normally excellent rush defense is ranked only 22nd in the NFL at the moment after finishing 2014 as the 4th best.  The absence and questionable health of defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan has certainly hurt, as will the absence of Terrell Suggs going forward.

After holding the Broncos rushing attack to a mere 2.8 yards per carry in week 1, the Ravens crumbled against the Raiders, giving up 5.1 yards per rush.  Sadly, it could have been even worse, but the Raiders only rushed 19 times as a team and instead picked apart the Ravens’ secondary.

Will the Bengals make the same mistake?  It’s highly doubtful.  They have the fourth most rushing attempts so far this season among all NFL teams and the 8th best yards per attempt average.  The Bengals will certainly be looking to slow things down and dominate time of possession once again this week.

Next: Key to victory #3

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