Preview: Ravens, Bengals Set to Renew Rivalry

Ravens outside linebacker David Ojabo forces a fumble on Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow in a game in 2022. Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images

The Baltimore Ravens are looking to move 2-0 as they travel to Cincinnati to take on their AFC north rival Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday. The Ravens secured an opening day win over the Houston Texans by a final of 25-9, while the Bengals had a rough day last Sunday as they fell to the Cleveland Browns 24-3 and will look to avoid an 0-2 start to the 2023 season.

The Ravens placed running back J.K. Dobbins on IR as he suffered a torn achilles last Sunday ending his season. Melvin Gordon is expected to be elevated from the practice squad to back up Justice Hill and Gus Edwards. Dobbins wasn’t the only one to suffer an injury for the Ravens last week as safety Marcus Williams (pectoral), center Tyler Linderbaum (ankle), and tackle Ronnie Stanley (knee) all went down against the Texans and have all been ruled out on Sunday. Cornerback Marlon Humphrey (foot) has also been ruled out as he continues to recover from foot surgery. Tight End Mark Andrew (quad) who did not play last week practiced in full on Friday and is currently listed as questionable.

The Bengals on the other hand come in relatively healthy as they only have three listed on their injury report for Sunday. Running back Chris Evans (hamstring), defensive end Joseph Ossai (ankle), and linebacker Markus Bailey (knee) are all listed as questionable. Quarterback Joe Burrow who dealt with a calf injury during the entirety of training camp was not listed on this weeks injury report.

Players to Watch:

Justin Madubuike

Justin Madubuike leads the charge on the Ravens defensive line and took a good first step after a dominate performance last Sunday recording two tackles including one sack and one quarterback hit, while helping the Ravens hold the Texans to just 72 yards rushing. Madubuike’s strength and quickness for a defensive lineman makes him a matchup nightmare and one that Ravens defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald will look to utilize on Sunday.

Madubuike will be key on Sunday as getting to and pressuring Joe Burrow could be the difference in a win and a loss. Getting Burrow off his spot on forcing him to use his legs and move on his calf could force the Bengals offense into another long Sunday. In five career regular season games against the Bengals, Madubuike has 9 total tackles, but is still looking for his first sack.

Tee Higgins

Everyone around the NFL knows who and what runs the Cincinnati Bengals offense. Between quarterback Joe Burrow and wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase they have become one of the most elite connections in the entire NFL. But one player that is often forgotten within this Bengals offense is wide receiver Tee Higgins. Higgins in a contract year is trying to break out as his future in Cincinnati is up in the air.

Higgins failed to record a catch last Sunday, but attention will alway be focused on Chase giving Higgins ample opportunity to make plays. In six regular season games against the Ravens Higgins has 24 catches for 325 yards and two touchdowns, including a 12 catch 194 yard game in 2021. The Ravens will have their work cut out for them on Sunday as they look to slow down Burrow and Chase while also being weary of Higgins and his big play ability.


The Ravens struggled in the first half to really find their footing offensively, which was to be expected as not starters on offense played during the preseason making week one the first time Lamar Jackson and the Ravens offense got to play in a game under new offensive coordinator Todd Monken. The Ravens can’t afford for a slow start this Sunday as the Bengals offense under quarterback Joe Burrow will be hungry to make up for their poor performance last week.

While I expect the Ravens offense to look better than a week ago, and the return of Lamar Jacksons favorite target Mark Andrews will greatly help. I still think this offense will continue to go through some growing pains, and injuries to Tyler Linderbaum, Ronnie Stanley, and J.K. Dobbins certainly don’t help. The key for the Ravens will be their defense. Led by linebacker Roquan Smith the front seven should be able to make Joe Burrow feel pressure all day. I expect Sunday to be a defensive affair that will come down to the Ravens inability to score touchdowns in the red zone. The Bengals will ultimately capitalize on that as the Ravens fall 20-16.

Line: Cincinnati -3.0

Over/Under: 46.5

All-Time Record: Baltimore leads series 28-26

Last Meeting: 1/8/23 Cincinnati 27-16

Please follow and like us:

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Follow by Email