The Bengals dealt the Ravens a 23-16 loss in Week 1, but much has changed since then.
Here are five ways the Ravens and Bengals are different:* *
Both teams are banged up
Teams are their healthiest in Week 1. Now headed into Week 8, both teams have injuries of note. Bengals Pro Bowl wide receiver A.J. Green, who caught the game-winning 77-yard touchdown against the Ravens in their first meeting, has missed the past two games with a toe injury, and his status for Sunday is in question. Bengals inside linebacker Vontaze Burfict suffered a neck injury last week, leaving the game early and didn't return. Baltimore has been playing with two rookies on the left side of the offensive line, and it's unknown whether left tackle Eugene Monroe and left guard Kelechi Osemele will be able to return from their knee injuries. Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta caught a team-high 10 passes for 83 yards in the first meeting. He's done for the season with a hip injury. The Bengals' top pass-catching tight end, Tyler Eifert, suffered an elbow injury during the Week 1 game and still isn't back.
New look in Ravens secondary
The man Green beat for the game-winning touchdown in Week 1, cornerback Chykie Brown, has fallen down the depth chart, and was inactive last week against the Falcons. Instead, the Ravens have a healthy Lardarius Webb back and Dominique Franks is seeing time outside at cornerback. Additionally, the defense is now employing more safeties in the secondary. Baltimore also didn't have rangy, play-making safety Will Hill the first time around because he was serving a suspension.
Ravens pass rush is humming
Baltimore didn't record a single quarterback hit, let alone a sack, in Week 1. The Ravens didn't get to Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton at all. Now, Baltimore's pass rush is in gear. The Ravens had five sacks and 15 quarterback hits in Tampa Bay. They followed it up with five sacks and nine quarterback hits against Atlanta. This time, Dalton may not have as much time to sit back and survey the field.
Baltimore offense avoiding cold spells
The debut of new Offensive Coordinator Gary Kubiak's offense was underwhelming in Week 1. The Ravens were shut out in the first half of their first meeting with the Bengals and gained just 66 yards on their first drive. They got in gear down the stretch, scoring two touchdowns and a field goal on three straight drives in the third and fourth quarters. Baltimore put together a 13-play drive in its final chance, but turned the ball over on downs. The Ravens haven't had any extended cold offensive streaks since Week 5 in Indianapolis.
Cincy has a new weapon
As if the Bengals didn't have enough dangerous offensive weapons, another one has emerged. Wide receiver Mohamed Sanu leads Cincy in catches (30), targets (49), receiving yards (408) and receiving touchdowns (3). He's also 2-for-2 passing with a touchdown. The versatile weapon has added another level of concern for the Ravens. Sanu had just four catches for 36 yards and one run for 5 yards in Week 1 in Baltimore.