Week 5, Sunday, Oct. 11. Cincinnati Bengals
New Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow joins an offense that could feature A.J. Green, Tyler Boyd, Tee Higgins and Joe Mixon. That’s not bad from a skill-position perspective. Not bad at all. But, like the Redskins, they come up pretty short nearly everywhere else. The Bengals might be building a nice squad for the future. It is not currently the future.
Ravens 45 Bengals 20
Week 6, Sunday, Oct. 18. At Philadelphia Eagles
I hate this match up for the Ravens. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. If Carson Wentz is healthy, his ability to buy time and hit receivers downfield who have all day to get open can be a killer, and running back Miles Sanders is a threat to gash a defense at any time with his speed. Fletcher Cox and company can also disrupt a running attack from the inside out. The Ravens are a better team. The Eagles, however, take this one due to match ups and timing.
Eagles 24 Ravens 20
Week 7, Sunday, Oct. 25. Pittsburgh Steelers
Not a real big fan of this match up, either. The Steelers present problems for the Ravens because of their talented defense, physical offensive line and, perhaps, the return of that guy who plays quarterback for them. Also, it’s Steelers-Ravens. This is a rough-and-tumble battle between two talented, tough teams. The Ravens just have a better roster, and I believe a coaching advantage.
Ravens 23 Steelers 16
Week 8, Bye. Ravens’ record stands at 6-1. Sweet, right?
Week 9, Sunday, Nov. 8. At Indianapolis Colts
I’m not a huge fan of what Philip Rivers brings to a team these days. Never the owner of a particularly strong arm, it has been reduced fairly obviously thanks to the raves of time and hard hits. I do, however, like nearly every other part of the Colts’ roster. They can run, stop the run and are well-coached. That makes them a tough team to play on any given Sunday. Still, the Ravens defense appears to only be really vulnerable to strong-armed quarterbacks who can hit small windows and I just don’t see Rivers being that guy. Tough game, but Ravens win.
Ravens 28 Colts 23