50 Words or Less: J.K. Dobbins Could Be Ready to Break Out


The Ravens will make their first primetime appearance of the season Sunday night, in a divisional matchup with plenty of star power.

Baltimore (2-2) will host the Bengals (2-2) in a Sunday Night Football matchup that features Lamar Jackson and Joe Burrow leading offenses capable of putting up points quickly. The Bengals are going for their third straight win, while the Ravens hope to bounce back from their Week 4 loss to the Bills.

Here are my thoughts heading into the game, all in 50 words or less:

J.K. Dobbins could be ready for a breakout game. He looked frisky scoring two touchdowns against the Bills and the Ravens may lean on him with running back Justice Hill (hamstring) out for Sunday's game against the Bengals. When he's healthy, giving Dobbins touches is never a bad idea.

A defense that includes Marlon Humphrey, Marcus Peters, Marcus Williams and Chuck Clark will not remain last in the NFL in pass defense all season. The Ravens will play better defense over the long haul, but they can't afford to blow more fourth-quarter leads while they'll figuring things out.

The Bengals haven't scored 30 points in any game this season. Their run game has struggled with Joe Mixon averaging 2.7 yards per carry. Yes, the Bengals have tremendous offensive talent. But if the Ravens score 30 points Sunday night, their chances to win are excellent.

First Devin Duvernay became an All-Pro returner, then he also became a reliable starting wide receiver. Now Duvernay will be the No. 1 wideout with Rashod Bateman (foot) out for Sunday. Don't bet against Duvernay having a big night. He seems to meet every challenge.

Duvernay won't be the only player asked to step with Bateman not in action. Here's a name to watch – rookie tight end Isaiah Likely. With Mark Andrews drawing so much attention, Likely needs to beat one-on-one coverage and give Lamar Jackson another tight option in the passing game.

Burrow was sacked seven times in Week 1 and six times in Week 2 and the Bengals lost. He was sacked twice in Week 3 and once in Week 4 and the Bengals won. Can the Ravens put consistent pressure on Burrow? That will be key to Sunday's outcome.

Speaking of pass rush, Jason Pierre-Paul better get some rest this weekend. He played 55 snaps in his Ravens debut Week 4 and could play a ton of snaps against the Bengals, especially with Justin Houston (groin) missing his second straight game.

Here are the players to watch for the Ravens' Week 5 Sunday Night Football game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Baltimore Ravens Editorial Director Ryan Mink
Ryan Mink

Editorial Director

Don't be surprised if Lamar Jackson carries the ball 10 times or more Sunday night. Having Jackson carry a heavy workload as a runner every week isn't always ideal, but he has rushed for at least 88 yards four times against the Bengals.

Whether Ronnie Stanley plays or not, giving Jackson time to throw against Cincinnati's pass rush will be a challenge. Bengals edge rusher Trey Hendrickson was a Pro Bowler last year, and edge rusher Sam Hubbard is fourth in the NFL in pressures, according to Next Gen Stats.

There's no question the Ravens are ticked about their two losses, but their confidence hasn't been shaken. It's still early. Nobody has outplayed them. And a victory Sunday would leave them no worse than tied for the division lead.

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