Scott Garceau: Bengals at the Bank (1:00 Sunday CBS)
I guess we should have this pattern figured out by now, The Ravens play good against good teams and bad against bad teams. Good news!!! The Cincinnati team that comes into The Bank Sunday is a good team.
Marvin Lewis’s team is 6-3, right there with the Ravens and they are not afraid to take their act on the road. Sunday the Bengals will be after their 4th straight road win, and the Bengals have no reason to fear the Ravens, Cincinnati is 9-4 in their last 13 games against Baltimore.
Both teams are expected to be without top players. The Ravens defense won’t be the same without leader Ray Lewis, who’s been the man in the middle for 57 consecutive games. The Bengals have their own problems, rookie wide receiver A.J. Green is one of the top play-makers in the game. Four of his 6 TD’s have gone for at least 35 yards, but he may not be able to go.
Second round pick Andy Dalton has been rock solid in his rookie year. Dalton has 14 TD passes, most by a rookie QB through 9 games since the merger in 1970. He’s already set the Bengals record for most yards passing by a rookie.
The Bengals defense will give Flacco and friends a stern test. The Bengals allow only 86.8 rushing per game 2nd best in the NFL (49ers 73.2). And in their last 4 games against Baltimore the Bengals have 9 interceptions.
The Ravens like home cooking and go after their 7th straight in Baltimore. Flacco is 23-5 at home and his numbers show it with 32 TD’s to only 16 picks. The Ravens have thrown the ball 150 times in the last 3 games and that is ridiculous! Aaron Rodgers hasn’t thrown 40 passes in any game this season.
I know the Benglas are good against the run but Ray Rice needs carries and the offense needs better balance. This will be a battle, but a medium to large serving of Rice might be the recipe for a Ravens win.