When the Baltimore Ravens host the Cincinnati Bengals, it will be one of the key games that will decide the division when we look back on things in January. Both teams are banged up, and both are coming off of losses. So, while the Ravens are feeling bad, they can still feel good about beating the Bengals. Here is why the team may dominate key matchups.
5. The Baltimore Ravens should be able to run on the Cincinnati Bengals
The Baltimore Ravens have a strength, and they have had it for years. Lamar Jackson and the rushing attack is one of the best in the NFL. On the flip side, the Bengals have a weakness on defense, and that is defending the run.
The Bengals currently rank 28th in expected points allowed against the run, and they ran 24th in success rate. To be fair, they have taken on some talented rushing attacks, but they just got carved up for 150 yards on 30 carries by Devin Singletary and the Texans' rushing game, which ranks 23rd in EPA and 29 in success rate. The last mobile quarterback the Bengals faced was Josh Allen, who had eight rushes for 44 yards and a touchdown.
So they can be beaten. It is not a good time to face the Baltimore Ravens, who rank first in EPA per rush and third in success rate. The Ravens have not had it easy, either. The Browns rank fourth in rushing success rate against. The Seahawks rank 9th, and the Titans, Lions, and Steelers are all top 15 rushing defenses.
Meanwhile, the Arizona Cardinals rank 28th in success rate and 24th in EPA per play. They are very similar to the Bengals rushing defense. We saw Gus Edwards score three rushing touchdowns, and the Ravens cruised to 30 points.
Are the Ravens going to expose an already weak ground game? There is no reason they should not continue to pound the ball against Cincinnati this week.