Ravens: 5 things to watch vs. Bengals

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2.  Will the defense be able to rebound?

September 20, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Baltimore Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith (22) blocks a pass intended for Oakland Raiders wide receiver Amari Cooper (89) during the fourth quarter at O.co Coliseum. The Raiders defeated the Ravens 37-33. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

In week 1, the Ravens’ defense was all over Peyton Manning, sacking him four times and returning an interception for a TD. The constant pressure and excellent coverage kept the Broncos from scoring any offensive TDs.

CB Jimmy Smith played exceptionally well in that game, keeping Broncos’ WR Demaryius Thomas from having a good game. However, Smith, as well as the rest of the Ravens’ defense, did not carry over that intensity or production to Oakland last week. Raiders’ rookie WR Amari Cooper routinely burned Smith, including a 68 yard TD where he got behind Smith and the entire defense.

Raiders’ QB Derek Carr was able to pick apart the Ravens’ pass defense, throwing for over 300 yards and 3 TDs. Without Suggs, the Ravens were not able to get any pass rush going, and Carr had all day to throw.

So, coming into week 3, the question is: will the world see the Ravens dominate defense on display in Denver or the awful, porous defense on display in Oakland. Keep an eye on Smith and the Ravens pass rush, because if they can’t manage to get any pressure or good coverage, the Bengals’ offense will dominate.

Next: No. 3

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