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Everything You Need to Know: Ravens vs. Bengals



Kickoff: 1 p.m., Paul Brown Stadium

TV: WJZ Channel 13 (Baltimore), WUSA Channel 9 (Washington, D.C.), WBOC Channel 16 (Salisbury), WHP Channel 21 (York/Harrisburg/Lancaster), CBS crew (Spero Dedes, Adam Archuleta)

Radio: WBAL (1090 AM/101.5 FM) and 98 Rock (97.9 FM), Ravens crew (Gerry Sandusky, Femi Ayanbadejo); WDCN La Nueva 87.7 on the Ravens app: (David Andrade, Gustavo Salazar, Ximena Lugo Latorre)


A victory would send the Ravens to the playoffs for a third straight year and ninth time in 13 seasons under Head Coach John Harbaugh. However, if the Ravens lose, they can only qualify for the postseason if the Cleveland Browns or Indianapolis Colts also lose Sunday (not counting tie scenarios). Coming off two straight victories, the Bengals haven't won three straight games since 2015 and have a chance to end their season on a high note.


Baltimore leads the all-time series, 26-23, but the Ravens are just 9-15 in Cincinnati. In Week 5, the Ravens defeated the Bengals, 27-3, at M&T Bank Stadium. Lamar Jackson completed 19 of 37 passes for 180 yards and two touchdowns, and Marquise "Hollywood" Brown and Mark Andrews both had touchdown catches. A dominant defensive performance carried the Ravens, who sacked Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow seven times and held Cincinnati scoreless until the final minute.


Will the Ravens' dominant rushing attack keep rolling?

Over its last four games, Baltimore has averaged 233.3 yards rushing with J.K. Dobbins, Gus Edwards and Jackson leading a triple-threat rushing attack. The Bengals are ranked 25th in the NFL against the run, making Baltimore unlikely to stray from what has worked so well, especially with a playoff spot at stake. The Ravens have rushed for at least 100 yards in 38 straight games, and another 200-yard rushing day is not out of the question.

Will the Bengals respond with a potent rushing attack of their own?

Against Houston last weekend, running backs Samaje Perine (95 yards) and Giovani Bernard (65) sparked Cincinnati to victory over the Houston Texans. Expect the Bengals to test Baltimore's run defense, hoping to control time of possession battle while keeping Jackson off the field.

Can Brandon Allen stay hot against the Ravens' defense?

Cincinnati's backup quarterback has completed 56 of 73 passes in his last two games, but he's facing a Baltimore defense that has 11 sacks in its previous two games. Allen is going to need solid protection for Cincinnati to pull off the upset.

Key Matchups

Lamar Jackson vs. Bengals defense

Jackson has played at an MVP level the past four games, with a quarterback rating over 100 in every contest. He enters the game needing 92 yards rushing to become the first NFL quarterback to run for at least 1,000 yards in two different seasons. However, Jackson's focus is on getting Baltimore back to the postseason, and it's showing in his play. He's looking like a great player on a mission.

Ravens secondary vs. Bengals receivers

Ravens cornerbacks Marcus Peters (calf) and Jimmy Smith (ribs/shoulder) did not play last week and the Bengals will test them if they return. Cincinnati has three receivers in Tee Higgins, Tyler Boyd and A.J. Green who are playmakers. Baltimore must eliminate chunk plays from the Bengals' wideouts that could give them momentum.

Bengals offensive line vs. Ravens defense

Ravens Defensive Coordinator Wink Martindale is very adept at causing problems for teams that have trouble protecting the passer. If Cincinnati's offensive line can't win its one-on-one battles up front, it will make Martindale's blitz packages even harder to handle.

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