Baltimore Ravens vs. Bengals: 6 questions with Stripe Hype
The Baltimore Ravens take on the Bengals on Thursday Night Football so it’s time to talk about the game with Stripe Hype’s site expert, Jack Lane:
Ever since the 4th and 12 debacle, the Baltimore Ravens have wanted another chance at the Cincinnati Bengals. This chance comes early in the 2018 season as Baltimore will play them on Thursday. The purple and black are coming off a big win and so are the Colts. The stakes of this divisional match up are high. The winner of this game will be sending a statement to the rest of the AFC North.
With that in mind I figured it was a good idea to talk to Jack Lane. Jack is the site expert at Stripe Hype, a Bengals blog for the FanSided Network.
CS: Both the Ravens and the Bengals beat bad teams in week 1. How much can we tell about the Bengals after beating the Colts?
JL: I don’t think we can tell too much about this Bengals team’s offensive and defensive success yet. However, this is a young team that overcame a 2-score deficit in the second half. The ethos around this franchise has fundamentally changed from last season.
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CS: The Bengals seem to have the Ravens number. Why do you think that has been the case?
JL: I honestly don’t know why. I think the team circles the Baltimore games on the calendar, so there’s some added pride to a win. Mostly, I think it’s just that this match up is a divisional rivalry, so weird stuff happens.
CS: Do you think Marvin Lewis should have been fired? Did Ravens’ heartbreak save his job?
JL: I have zero doubts that the Week 17 win saved Marvin’s job last season. Should he have been canned? I personally like Marvin, and with the thorough changes made to the coaching staff and roster, I’m okay giving him another shot. However, he needs to show it’s different this year.
CS: What is the greatest strength of the Bengals? How does it match up with the Ravens?
JL: I’m intrigued to see how the defensive line matches up against the Ravens’ O-line. The pass rush is deep, but the Ravens may be able to hold it off. I do think the Bengals’ receivers have a significant advantage over the Ravens’ corners, starting from the top with AJ Green.
CS: What is the Bengals’ weakness? How can the Ravens exploit it?
JL: The offensive line is a big concern, especially on the right side. I think Baltimore may be able to slow down the run game and take away some offensive balance. Also, guys like Willie Snead and John Brown could be a problem in the middle of the field.
CS: How will this one go? What is your prediction:
JL: At home, I can’t go against my team. I believe the Bengals are on a mission to show the league they are a contender this year. The Bengals can spread it around on offense enough to get in the end zone a few times, and then get crucial stops on D. 20-16 Bengals.