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10/13/19 Bengals vs. Ravens

The Ravens host the hapless Bengals who come to Baltimore with a winless record of 0 and 5. The Red Rocket is not having a good year so far – and through 5 starts he has given up 4 interceptions and 3 fumbles. The Bengals Offensive line is awful and Dalton has been sacked 20 time already. Other than Tyler Boyd and Joe Mixon he doesn’t really have any weapons to go to. AJ Green is out with an ankle injury, and John Ross who was off to a good start is now on injured reserve with a bad shoulder. It is hard to win in the NFL when your best skill players are on the sidelines. That said, for some reason we always seem to get the very best from Dalton and the Bengals. If the Ravens defense proves to be inept at putting pressure on Dalton, then I would imagine that they will move the ball through the air with some ease, even with that rag tag group of receivers. I have already seen what a 3rd string quarterback can do if he is given enough time. You have to wonder if the Ravens will make a move to get a legitimate pass rusher. The reality is Judon is good, but he is not a great pass rusher and if you watch the film most of his sacks (3) are because he doesn’t give up on the play.

The Ravens are coming off a huge win against the Steelers and they were fortunate to get it. The Steelers game did however expose how poor our offensive line played against a really good front four. Both Bozeman and Skura got knocked around and could not contain the pressure up the middle. The O line should be ok on Sunday, but it doesn’t bode well for them when they play teams like Seattle, New England and San Francisco. The secondary also struggled in coverage albeit the lack of pressure contributes to that. The Ravens also lost Tony Jefferson to a season ending injury which puts more pressure on an already banged up and beleaguered secondary. For all the talk about improving communications in the Ravens secondary, we haven’ seen it yet. I am interested to see how Clark and Elliott do filling in at the safety position– who knows perhaps they will perform better than Jefferson.

If the Ravens win Sunday, they will solidify their hold on the AFC North and put added pressure on the Browns and Steelers. They have to beat the Bengals at home because this is literally the easiest game on the schedule and keep in mind, they have some really tough games coming up in the middle half of the season. By the numbers the Bengals have owned the Ravens in recent years and have won 8 of last 11 games, but that was under Marvin and somehow, I think the tide is going to change for us. The Ravens offense should be able to the move the ball because the Bengals are 31st against the run and the Ravens are stout in the run game. The Ravens just need to pass enough to keep the Bengals honest and running the ball 35+ times should be the game plan on Sunday. I would love to see Edwards, Ingram and Jackson all have 10+ carries. If the Ravens can run and keep the chains moving, they will have another lopsided TOP game and will keep Dalton on the sidelines. This should be the recipe every week that you face a team that is poor against the run.

For you Maryland Terrapin fans this thought has perhaps crossed your mind. So far this season the Ravens have matched wins and losses with the Terps (W, W, L, L, W) so if our fate is inextricably tied to the Terps we will to root passionately for them this Saturday against the Boilermakers. To build a winning a season one of things that you do is win the games that you are supposed to win. Sunday’s game greatly favors the Ravens and they match up well against the Bengals. The Ravens need to play clean football and they cannot commit 12 penalties like they did last week, giving the Steelers 6 first downs on penalties and keeping their drives alive. The Ravens have to find a way to get pressure on Dalton, and if they can do that without leaving themselves vulnerable to the screen pass – they will win by 20 points. These are big “ifs” and quite honestly there is nothing to make you believe that is going to happen. That said, the Ravens offense should be able to control the ball and put together long drives and if they convert TDs in the red zone this game should be a walk away win. The odds makers have the Ravens by 10 ½ points and double-digit spreads are rare, I like the under here. The over/under is set at 48 and I like the under here is as well. Let’s hope that coaches make the right calls and play to the Raven’s strengths. Enjoy the game and stay thirsty my friends.

Baltimore Ravens hosting the Cincinnati Bengals    Sunday, October 13th at 1:05 PM       Odds Ravens by 10 ½

Game Predictions

Score       Ravens 27 Bengals 21
Turnovers       Plus 1
Net Rushing Yardage       Ravens    170      Bengals    91
Net Passing Yardage        Ravens    250      Bengals    288

Miscellaneous Predictions

• Justice Hill has his biggest game of the season
• Hurst has 6 receptions for 74 yards
• Lamar will rush 11 times for 71 yards
• Refs make terrible calls

Keys to the Game

• Win the turnover battle!
• Pressure Dalton and get hands on him
• Play ball control offense

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