It might be only Week Three, but the Baltimore Ravens are officially in must-win mode on Sunday when the 2-0 Cincinnati Bengals come to town. At 0-2, the Ravens are in very real danger of losing their season before September is even over. The amount of teams to come back from 0-3 to make the playoffs is very short, and the Ravens don’t want to find themselves trying to challenge that record. Every time these two AFC North teams get together, it’s always an intense physical battle, and this one is sure to be no different.
Details for Sunday’s game are below:
Date: Sunday, September 27, 2015
Start Time: 1:00 p.m. ET
Location: Baltimore, MD
Stadium: M&T Bank Stadium
TV Info: CBS
Live Stream: NFL Sunday Ticket
Ticket Information: For Cincinnati Bengals ticket information, click here. For Baltimore Ravens ticket information, click here.
Keys to Victory
For the Bengals to pull of a road win against a desperate team on Sunday, Andy Dalton is going to have to keep up his hot start. Through two games, Dalton has been a plus at quarterback, which has been huge for the team considering all the doubt that there was about him in the off-season. He’s the only starter through two games that has yet to be sacked or throw an interception. He has an incredible 120.3 passer rating and five touchdowns to start the season.
There’s no doubt that to win in Baltimore the Bengals are going to have to get A.J. Green the ball. For as well as the team has started in the first two weeks of the season, their star receiver is off to a slow start on the year and has just 108 yards in two games. Luckily for Cincinnati, A.J. Green has very good numbers against Baltimore. He will line up against Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith on Sunday.
Jeremy Hill has to prove he can hold onto the ball for the Bengals. The talented back had an issue with fumbles last week, which led to him earning a spot on the bench. The Bengals passing game can’t open up without an established run and Jeremy Hill has to do his part and not put all the burden on Giovani Bernard to carry the run game.
For the Ravens, Joe Flacco has to be a lot better. Their quarterback has thrown two big interceptions at the end of the game in each of the first two contests this season. This is a game that’s likely to going to be close between the two division teams, and Flacco has to make the throws at the most crucial part of the game.
Defensively, Baltimore has to get after Andy Dalton. Dalton has proven that he is not the same quarterback when he is getting pressured. Without Terrell Suggs, it’s going to be hard enough, but there’s no time for excuses and Baltimore has to bring down Dalton if they’re going to have a chance to win. They can’t afford to let Tyler Eifert get open either. Eifert is emerging as one of the better tight ends in the league, and he will eat up the middle of the field unless Baltimore can put a body on him.
Point Spread: Cincinnati Bengals -2.5
Moneyline: Cincinnati Bengals +120
The Ravens might be down, but they’re finally at home and will be giving everything they have on Sunday. There’s too much veteran talent for the team to roll over and they will give the Bengals their best shot. Flacco to Steve Smith should be a combination to count on at home to get the crowd going. Defensively, they will struggle against A.J. Green and Tyler Eifert. However, the defense will force Andy Dalton into some mistakes on the road and kicker Justin Tucker will be the x-factor in giving Baltimore their first win.
Final Score: Cincinnati Bengals 17, Baltimore Ravens 20
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