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11/18/18 Bengals Pregame

Sunday features round two with the Cincinnati Bengals playing in Baltimore where the Ravens are coming back to play after their bye week. Let’s be brutally honest about where things stand – the Ravens have to win tomorrow to keep this season relevant. A loss tomorrow would almost certainly signal that the Ravens are destined to whiff on the post season. Losing a fourth straight game will likely seal the fate of John Harbaugh and Joe Flacco. A loss tomorrow against the Bengals will change the course of the remaining games and make the use of players look more like a science experiment. The whispers of Harbaugh getting axed and Flacco being traded or cut are getting louder and louder with each passing day. A loss on Sunday will only put more pressure for change – which many will say can’t come soon enough. Tomorrow will either produce a win and give fans an ever-slight glimmer of hope, or a 4-game losing streak with despair winning the day for fans and players alike.

On paper the Ravens look like the better team, and statistically they are better. The Bengals give up a whopping 32 points a game and surrender 465 yards a game – both of which rank them at the bottom. The Bengals offense is better but they are middle of the road in terms of yardage and Sunday they will likely be without their number one weapon AJ Green who has a toe injury. As of this writing it is still unknown who will quarterback for the Ravens as Flacco nurses a hip injury and Lamar was sick this past week with some kind of crud. I for one hope they give the ball to Robert Griffin because I think he gives them the best chance to win, and to be fair he has had the most practice this week. Even if RGIII gets the nod – you can be certain that Lamar will get his share of snaps on Sunday.

With all the uncertainty tomorrow on who will be playing it is really hard to predict what is going to happen. The Bengals suck on defense but look like the 85 bears when they play the Ravens – and as I have said before Marvin Lewis have our number. The Bengals beat the Ravens pretty soundly in the beginning of the season – and they never seem to worried when the play Baltimore. The Ravens defense, while statistically number two in the league, look like a shell of what they were in September. The weird thing is both teams are sort of in a demoralized state at the moment – and only one them can come out of the funk they are currently in. The Bengals got slobber knockered last Sunday losing to the Saints 51 to 14, you would think that has to play on your team psyche. The Ravens have lost 3 straight and have been unable to get teams off the field. To me the Ravens look like a team in decline and I fear that some of the players have resigned themselves to no post season and therefore may not want to give it all out on the field – seeing no pay back for their efforts. I do hope I am wrong about that. Vegas has the Ravens by 4 points, with the over under set at 43.5. I would take the Bengals in this one and I like the under. Enjoy the game and stay thirsty my friends.

Cincinnati Bengals hosted the Baltimore Ravens – November 18th at 1:00 pm
Odds – Ravens by 4

Game Predictions
Score         Ravens 17         Bengals 24
Turnovers         Minus 2
Net Rushing Yardage         Ravens 99         Bengals 127
Net Passing Yardage         Ravens 222         Bengals 280

Miscellaneous Predictions
• Lamar has two turnovers – fumble and INT
• Tyler Boyd leads all receivers with 9 rec and 123 yds
• Bengals TOP north of 31 minutes
• Refs make terrible calls

Possible Monday morning headlines in the Sun Papers
• Ravens extend losing streak to 4 straight

Keys to the Game
• Establish the run game
• Contain Boyd and Mixon
• Protect the rock

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