The Ravens face off against the division rival Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday Night Football at M&T Bank Stadium in Week 5.
Here's everything you need to know:
The Ravens lead the all-time regular-season series history, 27-25, but the Bengals swept Baltimore last year with two blowouts. The Bengals won the first, 41-17, at M&T Bank Stadium when Ja'Marr Chase posted 201 yards and a touchdown. Cincinnati won the second, against a decimated Ravens roster, 41-21 when Joe Burrow threw for a franchise-high 525 yards and four touchdowns. The year before, the Ravens swept the season series and held the Bengals to six points, total, in the two games.
This is an early-season matchup for AFC North supremacy. While the Ravens, Bengals and Browns are tied at 2-2 atop the division through the quarter mark, ultimately, the division could come down to a two-team race between Baltimore and Cincinnati, the defending conference champs. This is an early opportunity to get a leg up in the race and build some confidence. The Ravens are looking to rebound after last week's blown lead against the Bills. The Bengals are riding high on a two-game winning streak.
How will Baltimore handle Cincinnati's passing game?
The Ravens pass defense has improved, but still ranks last in the league, allowing 315.3 yards per game. The Bengals smoked Baltimore's defense in both games last year, although the Ravens were not full strength in either contest. The Ravens invested a lot in their secondary to change that this year. Will it pay off versus Burrow, Chase, Tee Higgins and the rest? Baltimore is tied for the league lead in takeaways (10), and Burrow said this week his top priority is protecting the football.
Will the Ravens finish in the second half?
The Ravens have held big leads in both of their losses this season. The offense hasn't scored enough in the second half and the defense has given up long plays and drives. If the Ravens get out to a lead, all eyes will be on how they execute down the stretch. Cincinnati's offense is too talented to keep down for an entire game, so Baltimore's defense needs to do well responding to some punches.
Will Baltimore win the battles up front?
Burrow has been sacked 16 times this season. Only one quarterback has been dropped more. The Ravens pass rush has yet to get cranked up, but this would be a good week to do so. Bengals running back Joe Mixon has also been held in check on the ground, which has contributed to making Cincinnati's offense unbalanced. The Ravens will look to continue that trend. Conversely, the Ravens are hoping to get left tackle Ronnie Stanley back. What effect will that have on the offense?
Here are the players to watch for the Ravens' Week 5 Sunday Night Football game against the Cincinnati Bengals.
CB Marcus Peters vs. WR Ja'Marr Chase
The Bengals have three dangerous receivers in Chase, Higgins and Tyler Boyd. While Higgins leads the team in receiving yards, Chase dominates the targets (41). He hasn't had as many big plays yet (11.7 per catch) like last season, but he'll be looking to take the Ravens cornerbacks deep. Chase said he's "excited" to face Peters for the first time.