CINCINNATI — With Joe Flacco, Breshad Perriman, and Danny Woodhead all returning to practice the same day last week, it’s been looking bright for Baltimore. Since Joe Flacco entered the league back in 2008, the Ravens are 3-6 in Cincinnati. The only difference this time around is Cincinnati’s offensive line is a shell of its former self, with Cedric Ogbuehi and Jake Fisher headlining the unit instead of Kevin Zeitler and Andrew Whitworth.
The Bengals are also a few men short, LB Vontaze Burfict, CB Adam Jones, and rookie WR John Ross are all out for week 1, giving the offensively-challenged Ravens a chance to start quickly. The Ravens have announced that rookie DB Jaylen Hill will be out for week 1.
What to Look For:
- The Ravens O-Line: It remains to be seen if the patchwork offensive line, outside of Ronnie Stanley and Marshal Yanda, will be able to protect Flacco and his ailing back, let alone open up holes for a struggling Terrance West.
- Andy Dalton: The Bengals QB will be facing a lot of adversity in week 1. In addition to playing with untested linemen and wide receivers, he happens to be playing against the best and most physical defense the Ravens have fielded in many moons.
- Ravens Defensive Secondary: Going against A.J. Green has always been tough for the purple and black, but now that they solidified the safety positions with Eric Weddle and Tony Jefferson, Green may not make much of an impact. Rookie CB Marlon Humphrey has looked very impressive in his preseason snaps
- Ravens Pass Rush: With the struggles the Bengals are certain to have at OL, look for rookie LB Tyus Bowser and established veteran Terrell Suggs to terrorize Andy Dalton and disrupt the running game.
- Joe Flacco: After many months of not throwing a single pass, Flacco is going to immediately be thrown into the crucible with established DT Geno Atkins looking to take him down. Flacco has to be able to make all the throws and manage the game to make it work.
My Prediction: Ravens win 21-20 in Cincy
Where: Paul Brown Stadium – Cincinnati, Ohio
When: Sunday, Sept. 10, 1:00 pm
How to watch/listen: Ravens fans can catch the game on their local CBS station. Fans out of market can watch on NFL Sunday Ticket. Gerry Sandusky and Stan White have the call on WBAL 1090, 98 Rock, and gameday audio will also stream on the Baltimore Ravens website.
Image Credit: Baltimore Sports and Life