Brian Sullivan (@MadManScouting)
Baltimore Ravens (1-0) @ Cincinnati Bengals (1-0)
Location: Paul Brown Stadium
Time: 8:20 PM
Where To Watch: NFL Network
Spread – Ravens (-1.0)
We’ve got ourselves a divisional showdown between two undefeated teams that could end up making a huge difference by the end of the season. The visiting Ravens are coming off of a dominating 47-3 performance over the Bills. The Ravens finished with 6 sacks and 2 interceptions. They essentially ended Nathan Peterman’s career, as he was held to a 0.0 passer rating. Joe Flacco reminded us of why he was once considered elite; he finished with 236 yards and 3 touchdowns, and he completed 73.5% of his passes. The Bengals are coming off of a 34-23 win in Indianapolis, in a game that was closer than the score indicates. Clayton Fejedelem saved the day as he returned a fumble to the house on the final drive of the game. Joe Mixon finished with 149 total yards and proved that he is the focal point of this offense. Now we’ll see if they can defend their home turf against a roaring Ravens team.
Match-Ups To Watch
The Bengal’s Offensive Line Vs. The Raven’s Defensive Line
The Ravens dominated in the trenches on both sides of the ball, albeit against what appears to be one of the worst teams in football. The Bengals ran the ball effectively, but they occasionally made the Colts look better on the defensive front than they actually are. Rookie center Billy Price had some growing pains, and this Ravens defense is a whole new animal. It could be a long night for the Bengal’s offense if they don’t improve tonight.
Bengals Wide Receiver AJ Green Vs. Ravens Cornerback Marlon Humphrey
Marlon Humphrey was one of the more impressive rookies at cornerback last season, and he continued to show progress last Sunday. He was the 2nd highest graded cornerback on ProFootballFocus with a grade of 89.9. Was his performance inflated by a lifeless Bills offense, or is he the real deal? We’ll find out when he matches up against one of the league’s best receivers in AJ Green.
Bengals DT Geno Atkins Vs. The Raven’s Interior Offensive Line
Geno Atkins is one of the most dominant forces in all of football. The lack of success for Cincinnati could be the reason we don’t hear him mentioned with Aaron Donald and Fletcher Cox, but he’s a very similar player. He has the ability to completely disrupt an offense, and if he can bring discomfort to the Ravens, the Bengals will have a much easier time winning this game.
Ravens Cornerback Tavon Young
Stat Projection – 5 Tackles, 2 PBU, 1 Int
The Temple product had himself a day against Buffalo, as he lead the Ravens with 2 sacks. After missing the entirety of 2017, he could have himself a breakout year for Baltimore. Against a quarterback who is notorious for collapsing in Prime Time, Tavon has an opportunity to make some big plays.
Final Score Prediction
Ravens Win 26-13
Maybe I’m overreacting to their Week 1 annihilation, but I’m a big believer in this Baltimore team. Their defense didn’t surprise me, but Joe Flacco appears to be revitalized now that Lamar Jackson is behind him. I think Andy Dalton is in for a rude awakening against this Ravens defense, as they make a huge statement on national TV.
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Image Credit- https://www.baltimorebeatdown.com/2018/9/12/17844674/ravens-vs-bengals-stat-predictions-week2-thursday-night-football-flacco-collins-brown-snead-crabtree