As the Baltimore Ravens go to square off with the Cincinnati Bengals for the first time in 2020, we glimpse and predict the outcome of this AFC North game.
Even the strongest, most dominant players get old and worn down. This is the case for the man dubbed the “Raven Killer” himself, A.J. Green.
That seems like an odd way to start this preview, right? Not really. When Green has played the Baltimore Ravens (since 2011), the Cincinnati Bengals are 7-4 behind Green’s eight touchdown catches and career average of 80.5 receiving YPG. Green is a massive difference-maker for the Bengals team, as evident by the team’s 2-5 record when Green isn’t in the lineup. Now that Green is old and broken down, however, he may not be enough for this Cincinnati team to beat Baltimore.
Besides that point, the Ravens have to love the idea of facing a rookie quarterback behind a bad offensive line. I have a feeling that this pass rush could come alive and get after a young Joe Burrow on more than one occasion. If Baltimore can slow down Joe Mixon out of the backfield, they should be able to T-off on Cincinnati’s passing game. I suspect Burrow will be throwing the ball a lot in this game and will subsequently have better numbers in the box score than what actually happened.
Meanwhile, the Ravens rushing attack has to be excited about this matchup. The Bengals are surrendering 4.9 YPC on the ground, 24th ranked in the league, while also placing 27th in rushing YPG at 158.5. Baltimore is averaging 160.8 rushing YPG and 5.4 YPC. Call me crazy… but this looks like a good day to run the football.
Unfortunately, the Cincinnati Bengals is just not a good enough football team to keep up with the Baltimore Ravens. I think this game gets ugly fast. So long as the Ravens stick to their identity (run the bleepin’ football!), Baltimore should win big.
Bold prediction: The Ravens rushing attack romps for 200-yards and three touchdowns; Joe Burrow throws for over 300-yards but tosses two interceptions
Score prediction: 34-14, Ravens