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Gameday Preview: Ravens vs. Bengals


In a matchup between the top teams in the AFC North, the Ravens (10-6) will close out the regular season Sunday against the Bengals (11-4) in Cincinnati.

Kickoff is at 1 p.m. at Paycor Stadium.

Here's everything you need to know heading into the game.


Baltimore leads the all-time series, 28-25, including a 16-10 advantage in Cincinnati. In Week 5, the Ravens edged the Bengals, 19-17, at M&T Bank Stadium as Justin Tucker kicked a 43-yard game-winning field goal as time expired. Pro Bowl tight end Mark Andrews had a big day with eight catches for 89 yards and a touchdown, while Patrick Queen had an interception against his college teammate, Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow. Baltimore's defense sacked Burrow twice and held him to 217 yards passing, his third lowest total of the season.


The Ravens will not be the 2022 AFC North champions, but they could get still get a home playoff game if they win Sunday. The NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell have created a resolution that would allow the Ravens to host a Wild-Card playoff game at M&T Bank Stadium. If the Ravens beat the Bengals and are scheduled to play them again in the wild-card round, there would be a coin toss to determine the site of the Ravens-Bengals playoff game. It's a way to balance what the league called "potential competitive inequities." If the Ravens lose Sunday, they will definitely begin the playoffs on the road.

Key Storylines

How will both teams react to the unusual circumstances?

This will be the first game for both teams since Damar Hamlin went into cardiac arrest on Monday Night Football, a traumatic event that took place on the same field where Sunday's game will be played. It's been an emotional week for all players, and both teams will certainly feel that. What impact that will have on the game is difficult to predict, as nationwide prayers for Hamlin's full recovery continue.

Could a potential playoff rematch impact game plans?

Because the Ravens could face the Bengals in a playoff game next weekend, neither team wants to reveal too much, so both teams may be reluctant to dig deep into their playbook. The Bengals and Ravens have already clinched playoffs spots and are very familiar with each other as division rivals. Any new tactics may be saved for the playoffs.

Can Baltimore's offense show more sizzle?

The Ravens have scored 17 points or fewer in five straight games. They're going to need more offensive firepower to make a playoff run, and even if they don't win this game, having a solid offensive game and finishing more drives with touchdowns would be a positive way to head into the playoffs.

Here are the players to watch for the Ravens' Week 18 game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Clifton Brown Staff Writer

Top Matchup

WR Tee Higgins vs. CB Marlon Humphrey

This has been a difficult week for Higgins, who was tackled by Hamlin on the play that preceded his cardiac arrest. Higgins' teammates and many players have rallied around him in support. Assuming he plays, Higgins (73 catches, 1,022 yards, seven touchdowns) is capping another outstanding year, and teams with Ja'Marr Chase (79 catches, 960 yards, eight touchdowns) and Tyler Boyd (53 catches, 711 yards, five touchdowns) to give the Bengals a lethal receiving trio. Humphrey could be matched up with any of them during the game, and the Ravens will need their Pro Bowl corner to be at his best.

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