Everything You Need to Know: Ravens vs. Bengals

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Basics

Kickoff: 1 p.m., M&T Bank Stadium

TV: WJZ Channel 13 (Baltimore), WUSA Channel 9 (Washington, D.C.), CBS crew (Greg Gumbel, Rich Gannon, Amanda Balionis).

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

Jersey color: Purple

Stakes

Every AFC North game is important for the Ravens (3-1), as the divisional race with the Pittsburgh Steelers (3-0) and Cleveland Browns (3-1) heats up. Cincinnati won its first game of the season in Week 4 over the Jacksonville Jaguars, and a victory would move the Bengals (1-2-1) to .500.

History

The Ravens lead the all-time series, 25-23, and have a three-game winning streak against Cincinnati. In their most recent meeting, Baltimore rolled to a 49-13 victory last November in Cincinnati. Lamar Jackson completed 15 of 17 passes for 223 yards and three touchdowns, and ran for 65 yards, including a spectacular 47-yard spinning touchdown scamper in the third quarter. Mark Andrews caught two touchdown passes. The Ravens also scored twice on defense, as Marcus Peters returned an interception 89 yards for a touchdown and Tyus Bowser returned a fumble recovery 33 yards for a score.

Storylines to Watch

Can the Ravens dominate with their running game?

Cincinnati's defense is yielding 4.9 yards per carry, and veteran defensive end Carlos Dunlap was upset this week after learning his playing time would be reduced due to a lineup change. Expect the Ravens to give Cincinnati a steady diet of Ingram, Gus Edwards, J.K. Dobbins and Jackson on the ground until it's proven they can be stopped.

Will Baltimore's pass rush get to Joe Burrow?

Burrow is the first rookie quarterback to throw for 300 yards or more in three consecutive games, but he has also been sacked more (15 times) than any quarterback except Deshaun Watson (16). The Ravens had a solid pass rushing performance in Week 4 with Matthew Judon and Jaylon Ferguson getting their first sacks of the season. Burrow is a poised quarterback, but the Ravens hope to disrupt his rhythm and are never shy about blitzing.

Will the Ravens contain running back Joe Mixon?

Coming off his best game of the season with 151 yards and three touchdowns, Mixon is also a threat in the passing game with 13 catches. The Bengals will try to get Mixon the ball in a variety of ways, and a strong game from him would improve Cincinnati's chances to pull off an upset.

Key Matchups

Ravens front seven vs. RB Joe Mixon

Baltimore upgraded its front seven during the offseason with matchups like this in mind. This will be Mixon's first look at a Ravens front seven that includes defensive linemen Calais Campbell and Derek Wolfe and inside linebacker Patrick Queen, who's coming off his best game of the season. The Ravens hope to gang tackle Mixon, bottle him up and make Cincinnati one-dimensional.

Ravens passing attack vs. Bengals defense

Ranking 31st in passing offense, the Ravens would like to get their passing attack going, especially the deep passing game, which hasn't clicked much so far this season. It would not be surprising to see Jackson take some deep shots to Marquise Brown. The Ravens could also attempt to get promising rookie Devin Duvernay more involved along with Willie Snead IV, who has made the most of his opportunities by catching 10 passes on 10 targets.

Ravens defense vs. Joe Burrow

This will be Baltimore's first look at a quarterback they'll likely face often over the next 10 years. Burrow is playing with unusual poise for a rookie and he has weapons. Leading receiver Tyler Boyd (28 catches, 320 yards, one touchdown) is off to a strong start, Tee Higgins (12 catches, 152 yards, two touchdowns) is showing promise as a receiver, and veteran receiver A.J. Green (14 catches, 119 yards) is off to slow start but has given Baltimore fits over the years. With Burrow at the helm, slowing down the Bengals offense is a tougher challenge this season.

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