4 battles will decide Ravens vs. Bengals in Week 2: Ja'Marr Chase vs. the Rain, more

Here are four battles that could shape the outcome of Sunday's game and end up deciding the matchup between Bengals and Ravens in Week 2 of the 2023 regular season, with the kick-off scheduled for 1:00 p.m. ET at the Paycor Stadium in Cincinnati.
Baltimore Ravens v Cincinnati Bengals
Baltimore Ravens v Cincinnati Bengals / Andy Lyons/GettyImages
5 of 5

1. Baltimore Rushing vs. Bengals Run Defense

J.K. Dobbins is out for the season after tearing his Achilles in Week 1. Gus Edwards, Justice Hill, and (it's expected) Melvin Gordon will split touches in Baltimore's backfield on Sunday and going forward. How does that sound?

The Ravens decided to go with an "in-house" solution to fix their backfield following the injuries of Dobbins' injury, the nth in his career and one that might have put an end to his tenure in Baltimore as he was playing under the final year of his rookie contract.

Dobbins has played two times against the Bengals in regular-season games rushing for 194 yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries combined. He also caught three passes for 21 yards in one of those two outings.

The injured rusher also appeared in last January's loss to Cincy in the playoffs having one of his best games putting up 62 yards on 13 carries including grabbing four-of-five targets for 43 yards and a receiving touchdown.

Gus Edwards has rushed the rock 62 times against the Bengals through seven games against them racking up 306 yards and scoring one touchdown. The per-game averages are at around 43 yards per game, and 4.9 yards per attempt.

Justice Hill has gone for 97 yards on 17 carries through five games, averaging 19 yards per game and 5.7 yards per attempt.

Melvin Gordon has played two times against the Bengals, and he will do so with a third different team if he graces the field at the Jungle on Sunday.

Last season, according to Team Rankings, the Bengals allowed the fifth-fewest rushing yards per game (103.5) to their opponents and the seventh-fewest (100.6) when playing home.

Baltimore's rushing offense ranked third in the NFL in rushing yards per game (159.7) as a team, racking up the second-best average in games played on the road (144.3).

Next. Lamar Jackson: "No excuses" and a TV-annihilation revelation. Lamar Jackson: "No excuses" and a TV-annihilation revelation. dark

This season, the Ravens rushers (who can be considered "backups-turned-starters") will need to do all in their power to try to at least approach those heights if Baltimore wants to have another successful campaign, no matter what new OC Todd Monken wants to implement.

Sunday feels like the first real test the backfield with need to pass on their way there.

More Baltimore Ravens content