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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / NFL News / Ty’s Take: Bengals vs Ravens, Preview and Prediction

Ty’s Take: Bengals vs Ravens, Preview and Prediction

Publish Date: 10/08/2022
Fact checked by: Mike Goodpaster
DENVER, CO - DECEMBER 19: Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow 9 rolls out of the pocket during a game between the Denver Broncos and the Cincinnati Bengals at Empower Field at Mile High on December 19, 2021 in Denver, Colorado. Photo by Dustin Bradford/Icon Sportswire NFL, American Football Herren, USA DEC 19 Bengals at Broncos Icon132211219273

At least for now, the Cincinnati Bengals have shut down the doubters, winning their last two games within five days, which has put them in a three-way tie for first within their AFC North division. The Stripes came off a significant win in last Thursday night’s prime time against an outstanding 3-0 Miami Dolphins team. They walked off the field with a 27-15 victory when everything was said and done. Now headed for another prime-time game against their division rival, the Baltimore Ravens, the Bengals control their destiny and have a chance to take over the division. Check out the top football betting sites.

On the other hand, the Ravens are coming off a loss where they had the Bills behind the eight ball yet still managed to lose on the game’s last play. Coming into this game with a 2-2 record, the same as the Bengals, the Ravens feel like they have a score to settle after last year’s domination by the Stripes in a combined score of 81-38 in two games.

Raven’s head coach even had a few choice words with Bengals head coach Zac Talor after their game because he felt they ran up the score last year. Baltimore fans also felt, to be fair, that their team had many more injuries than usual, which in turn led to the lopsided scores in both games.

All stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference

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The Bengal’s defense will once again make a statement.Β 

The one thing you can count on in the Bengal’s last four games is their unrelenting defense. Bengals defense coordinator, Lou Anarumo’s defenses have kept the Bengals in every game this year. They will undoubtedly be challenged by Raven’s multi-talented quarterback Lamar Jackson. He has been putting together MVP-caliber performances through four weeks of the season. You never know what Anarumo has schemed for the Ravens, but you can be sure that containing Jackson will be a priority.

Bengal’s stud linebacker Logan Wilson will also make sure Jackson does not get loose to make big plays; Anarumo may also want to use his other linebacker, speedy Akeem Davis-Gaither, to spy on Jackson. This duo has the speed to get side line to side line, which could pressure Jackson to throw the ball more.

The Ravens hope to get a running game going with J.K. Dobbins. Bengal’s tackle Josh Tupo will again be asked to hold down the middle of the line along with B.J. Hill, who has been solidly stopping the run, especially since losing D.J.Reader for half the season. The Ravens like to incorporate fullback Patrick Andrews to open up running lanes for Dobbins, so it is crucial to stop this duo before they start picking up yards. Thus, do not forget about the possible return of running back Gus Edwards. If he does play, I see him not being much of a factor in his first game back.

When Jackson is not making explosive plays with his legs, he likes to air the ball out to his top target, tight end Mark Andrews. The Bengals will certainly need to contain him from being a factor in the game. Cornerback Tre Flowers covered Andrews in the past and has the experience to at least limit his big plays. We may even see rookie Dax Hill work his way onto the field in specific packages to help with Jackson and Andrews.

Ravens receivers verse the Bengal’s secondary

The Bengal’s secondary is one of the best, and it showed last week as they kept high-powered Miami receivers Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle out of the red zone. The Raven’s top receiver Rashod Bateman will not play, causing Devin Duvernay to move up to the first receiver spot. I am sure he will be covered by Bengal’s top corner Chidobe Awuzie which certainly limits Jackson’s options when looking for an open Duvernay.

The turnover battle will be critical in this game, and the Bengals safeties Vonn Bell and Jessie Bates will look to make key interceptions if Jackson gets pressured and makes a mistake. Bell has 21 tackles, two interceptions, and a forced fumble through four games, while Bates is still looking to have his breakout game as he did in the post-season last year. Check out the top football odds.

Joe Burrow is not timid about throwing the ball against the Ravens.

The Ravens coaches and fans have not forgotten about the 525 passing yards quarterback Joe Burrow hung on them in their last game. New defensive Ravens coordinator Mike Macdonald would like to slow Burrow down with a steady pass rush starting with veteran tackle Calais Campbell who loves to move around the line. The Ravens have a combination of young players like rookie Travis Jones and veteran players up front who can control the line of scrimmage.

The Bengals offensive line will need to continue with solid protection, as they have only allowed three sacks in the past two games. It will be critical for the center and team captain Ted Karras to make the right blocking calls to give Burrow the time needed to use all his weapons. It seems like the line is finally getting comfortable playing together just in time to be tested in a hostile environment during another prime-time game. The Ravens have the worst passing defense in the league, so Burrow could have another big day if given time.

Raven’s safety Marlon Humphrey said early this week that he thought the Bengals receiving corps of Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, and Tyler Boyd was the best NFL. Burrow is most dangerous when he spreads the ball to all his receivers. The Ravens will likely play a cover two to stop the big plays. If the Ravens decide to double-team any of these receivers, it is up to the one-on-one receiver to make the play, as we saw last week with Tee Higgins. This presents a big problem for Raven’s secondary of Marcus Peters, Marus Williams, and Humphrey.

The Bengals running game must improve.

To say the Bengal’s running game has been a little disappointing would be an understatement. Joe Mixon called a meeting last week before the Miami game to try and get everyone on the same page to kickstart the running game.

If Burrow and Mixon can establish a running game early, it could open up more of the playbook for Burrow while controlling the time of possession and the game. Hopefully, this will be the game where we will see more of Samaje Perine and Chris Evans running the ball. Nothing against Mixon; I just want him to have fresh legs for the rest of the season.

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Tight end Hayden Hurst returns where he started.

Hurst is a former first-round pick by Baltimore and now with the Bengals, said he found his true home in Cincinnati. Hurst has hauled in 104 receiving yards and a touchdown, all while making some big catches as the top tight end in Cincinnati. He will have the opportunity to show off his abilities to his old team, so believe me when I say his emotions will run high in this game.

Burrow may need to count on him for crucial third downs or as a threat in the red zone. Either way, Hurst will look to make plays to impact his old team.

Special teams could play a significant role.

Last week, the Bengals special teams unit certainly did the job to help secure a win against the Dolphins. In that game, kicker Evan McPherson kicked a 57-yard field goal while rookie Jeff Gunter blocked a field goal. This special teams unit is incredibly talented and definitely an advantage to have on our side.

Β 

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