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September 11, 2022 vs Pittsburgh Steelers

Game Dey!!!

Week 7: Bengals @ Ravens


HoosierCat
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21 minutes ago, membengal said:

Definitely expecting an L, and would be pretty stunned to see a bengals win. Just don’t think we are on ravens level yet - especially on road. 

I think it all comes down to the first half offense. If they can *not* do what they've done too often this year, which is to spend most/all of the first half figuring out their ass from their elbow, I think they can hang around and maybe they make a big play or catch a big break to win at the end. If not, they're going to be down 2-3 scores at the half and that's too much to overcome against a good team on the road.

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This game is a measuring stick.  I have never seen a QB play better than I saw Lamar play vs. a not terrible Colts defense to win that game.  If Lamar plays like that they are very tough (perhaps impossible) to beat.   That said there is a blueprint which is to put pressure on them immediately and keep it consistent throughout the game.  This is not the 2001 Ravens defense.  They have holes that can be exploited.

High aspirations, low expectations is my motto on Sunday.

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Re the Burrow/Montana comps, I can very much see the resemblance. The big difference, and I think you can see this even watching Burrow v. Brandon Allen, is that Burrow is still a little...frantic. There's a veteran smoothness that isn't there yet, and that's 100% understandable, the guy's played 16 career NFL games. Lt him get a couple seasons under his belt and he'll be even better, which is kind of scary, actually.

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Little tidbit from espn+, Fowler & Graziano's upset picks for the week. Both of these would be sweet.

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Fowler: Bengals (+6) over Ravens. Cincinnati is making believers across the league. The defense is better than expected, and the Joe Burrow-Ja'Marr Chase duo connects for a weekly deep-ball party. And even if the Ravens shut down Chase, Burrow has at least four other potent options in the offense. Baltimore's defense was impressive last week against Justin Herbert, but it also allowed 400-plus passing yards to Derek Carr and Carson Wentz earlier this season. Look for the Bengals to make an AFC North statement here.

Graziano: I would love to take the Bengals in Baltimore because I think they are legitimately good on both sides of the ball right now, and people haven't caught on. But after I picked the Chargers to beat the Ravens last week and Baltimore crushed them, I have decided for now to stop doubting John Harbaugh's group.

Instead, I'm going with Broncos (+2.5) over Browns. Yeah, this is cheating a little bit, because I'm writing it while the injury status of ... well, basically half the Browns' roster including their quarterback is up in the air. By the time the game kicks off, the Broncos may well be favored. But while I still see a healthy Browns team as a real threat to win the AFC, this is not a healthy Browns team. And it's the absolute worst time for them to have a Thursday night game.

 

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On one of the other boards I pegged the game at 24-17 Ravens or some such. That's to say: I think Baltimore is still a slightly better team, and they're at home. I don't think though that this matchup is supremely lopsided, and I'd be a bit disheartened if the game turned into a lopsided loss. I believe the Ravens' strengths align conveniently with the Bengals' strengths to encourage a close game; that is, as well as they run the ball the Bengals stop the run. Jackson is the obvious difference though, and I have no idea what to expect with regard to how they handle him this time.

Perhaps this is the game more than any other where the offensive line is going to need to hold up. As good as Burrow has been against the blitz, he is still better with a clean pocket. Mixon and Evans can't whiff on pickup, so carry that over from Detroit. Sample can't drop a TD if he is targeted. I think the defense can keep the game within reach, but the offense can't lay an egg in either half.

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