Andy Dalton Hasn't Fared Well Versus Ravens


Andy Dalton is called the "Red Rifle" in Cincinnati. And in his third year, Dalton is living up to the nickname more than ever.

He's over 4,000 passing yards and has led his team to the postseason for the third straight year. He's tossed 31 touchdowns to 16 interceptions this season.

But that rifle hasn't always been on target when facing the Ravens.

Dalton has faced the Ravens five times. He's thrown seven interceptions (his highest total against any team) to just four touchdowns. He has just a 53.1 completion percentage and quarterback rating of 63.7. He's also lost a fumble.

In Week 10 this year, Dalton completed 24 of 51 passes for 274 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions.

"We tend to just play well against Cincinnati," safety James Ihedigbo said. "We have to continue to do that this time around. There really is no science to it."

A large part of the reason Dalton has turned the ball over so much against the Ravens is that he's also gotten hit a lot. He's taken 14 sacks in five games. He was sacked a whopping five times against the Ravens earlier this year.

According to Pro Football Focus, Dalton has a 48.0 quarterback rating on plays under pressure compared to 102.1 with no pressure. When he's not blitzed, he has a 12.3 rating from PFF. When he's blitzed, he has a -6.2 rating.

"They're really good upfront with the two outside guys, even the guys in the middle," Dalton said. "We've got to be stout in protection. I've got to get the ball out of my hands, and try not to take the sacks, and we have to do what we can to not allow the pressure."

Defensive tackle Haloti Ngata said getting pressure on Dalton will be "huge."

"They have weapons all over the field," he said. "We've just got to put pressure on Andy Dalton and try to make sure that he doesn't find open receivers or make correct checks. We'll just try to create pressure on him and try to make tough decisions."

Problem is, the Ravens haven't been getting a lot of pressure on quarterbacks recently, and they haven't been getting a lot of turnovers at any point this season.

The Ravens have six sacks over their last four games. That's just one more than they had in their one game against the Bengals this year.

Baltimore got three interceptions against Detroit's Matthew Stafford, but not a pick against the Steelers, Vikings or Patriots.

"We've got to get our hands on more balls," Ihedigbo said. "We haven't really done that as a secondary. We have to go into the game with a mentality of attacking the football."

Cornerback Jimmy Smith got his first career interception against Dalton back in 2011. He hasn't had one since, and he'll have a tough assignment against Cincinnati wide receiver A.J. Green. But Smith said he's happier to have that job than covering New England's Julian Edelman like last week.

"I like to face the big guys because it's a better matchup for me," Smith said. "Little guys sometimes are so quick that you're just chasing them everywhere.

"[The Bengals] know us just like we know them. It's one of those division rivals, so we're going to play each other hard."

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