Ravens: Top 5 keys to victory in Week 7 against the Bengals

Ravens, Lamar Jackson Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Ravens, Lamar Jackson Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports /
3 of 3
Ravens, Rashod Bateman (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /

4. The Ravens must get their playmakers in open space

The Bengals boast one of the most sound defenses in the entire NFL. At first glance, there are not many weaknesses. They rank in the top-10 in the NFL in both preventing passing and rushing touchdowns alike.

Moreover, they are a top red-zone defense as they only allow their opposition to score a touchdown 52.6 percent of the time when in the red area. However, one facet that they have a deficiency in is tackling.

More specifically, their starting secondary (top three cornerbacks, two safeties) have combined for 24 missed tackles on the season. For the Ravens, this bodes well for most of their offensive skill players.

Do not be surprised if the offense’s focal point is to reach the perimeter and get wide receivers like Marquise Brown and o in space by any means this Sunday.

5. The Ravens can’t allow Jessie Bates to take over

While the Bengals are solid overall as a cohesive unit, one player stands above the rest in terms of talent. Fourth-year safety Jessie Bates is one of the NFL’s top defenders.

At any given moment, he can change the fortunes of a game. In addition, he is in a contract season, so there is no denying his desire to make an impact play against a division rival, and one of the best team’s in the NFL.

Therefore, Baltimore must account for him at all times, as he is utilized in every way imaginable as the team’s best defender.

Next. Ravens: 3 running backs Baltimore could trade for at the deadline. dark

Bates is a valuable cog to the stout Cincinnati defense that should not alter the Ravens’ game plan, but they will be put to the test in numerous ways by him on Sunday.