The Ravens could face the Bengals in the first round of the playoffs next week.
And there isn’t a whole lot at stake in their final regular-season game.
So with not wanting to give opponents a sneak peek at how they could attack them with more on the line, will the Ravens and Bengals keep their game-planning and play-calling cards close to their chest?
How much will they show?
Baltimore’s defensive and offensive coordinators, Dean Pees and Jim Caldwell, had slightly varied answers Thursday.
“You can take two different approaches,” Pees said. “You can either not show them a whole lot of thinking because you might play them again, or you can show them a whole lot and give them more to work on during that time too.”
Caldwell, however, indicated that he’s not going to have any restrictions.
Baltimore’s offense has been up and down throughout the season, so Sunday’s game could be an opportunity to piece together back-to-back strong outings before heading into the playoffs.
It also has struggled on the road, a place where it will have to win if the Ravens are going to reach the Super Bowl. So the Week 17 outing is a chance to further work on playing well on the road. It will be Caldwell’s first game as offensive coordinator away from M&T Bank Stadium.
“I think John has expressed that we’re going there to win,” Caldwell said. “So whatever it takes to win. If it takes doing something that perhaps we would love to do at some other point and time or juncture … our goal is to go in and win this ballgame. So we’re going to use everything we have to get that done.”
The Ravens would face the sixth-seeded Bengals in the wild-card round if Baltimore wins this Sunday and the New England Patriots lose to the Miami Dolphins.
Cincinnati Head Coach Marvin Lewis was asked if there is a balancing act to how much the Bengals want to show.
“Nope,” he frankly said, adding that he has no thoughts of resting players.
“We have a football game, a division game against the Ravens. We’re going to play to keep doing things well the way we’re doing it. We look forward to the game this Sunday.”