Ravens, Bengals will be Thursday night AFC North revenge clash
September 13, 2018 8:56 AM
by Bob Christ
When the Baltimore Ravens face the Bengals in Cincinnati on Thursday night in an AFC North clash, it's a case of both teams looking for a measure of revenge against the other.
The Ravens, especially, remain bitter over their Week 17 home loss last season that cost them a playoff berth. And it was how they lost that was crushing, allowing Cincinnati to convert on 4th-and-12 from the Baltimore 49 in the final minute and score a touchdown.
The Bengals, meanwhile, saw their season go in the tank quickly by losing their first three games, including a Week 1 home beat-down by Baltimore, 20-0. Veteran Cincinnati QB Andy Dalton, with four INTs, had the second worst game of his career to that point based on passer rating.
Of Now both teams enter their prime-time meeting 1-0 with sole possession first place in the division heading into Week 3 at stake.
Now for a closer look at the game. The odds are courtesy of Westgate Las Vegas:
Baltimore Ravens (1-0) at Cincinnati Bengals (1-0)
Time: 5:20 p.m.
Line: Pick-em (45)
Facts: Baltimore opened as a 2-point choice before Bengals backers hit the windows... Baltimore had the most resounding victory in Week 1, a 47-3 rout of visiting Buffalo, in which the Bills didn't get a first down until the third quarter. Their first 11 possessions netted minus 8 yards... Cincinnati won at Indianapolis 34-23 as a 1-point underdog, overcoming a 23-10 third-quarter deficit. It was the week's second biggest comeback, behind Green Bay's epic rally against Chicago.
On the sideline: Backup Ravens RB Kenneth Dixon went on IR after last week's game with a knee injury. Star Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict will be sitting out Game 2 of his four-game PED suspension... Two of Baltimore's TDs in its romp came on short fields, starting at Buffalo's 14 on one drive and the 1 on another... Cincinnati second-year RB Joe Mixon got high marks for his 149 yards total offense vs. Indy.
Analysis: Baltimore's defense was sensational last week, even if it was against beleaguered QB Nathan Peterman, who had a 0.0 passer rating, the worst for any starter since 2015. Offensively, 11-year veteran QB Joe Flacco threw for three TDs, which might not seem like much but he never hit that number last year. And he had no INTs. Then there's Ravens rookie QB Lamar Jackson, the last pick in the first round, who provides unpredictability with his speed in special packages. As for the Bengals, that 11-point victory margin is somewhat misleading. They led only 27-23 in the final minute with the Colts driving, having just reached the 15 when they fumbled. Cincinnati backup DB Clayton Fejedelem recovered and in a flash went 83 yards to puff up the score. Also, Cincinnati's defense just couldn't get off the field, allowing Indy to convert 11 of 17 third-down tries.
Forecast: Ravens 27, Bengals 21