Bengals Will Take the Flight Out of Ravens

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Ravens vs. Bengals, 8:15 ET

If you were into conspiracy theories, the NFL would’ve gone to the doctors for Miami and Baltimore and said to not allow Tua Tagovialoa or Lamar Jackson to play in their respective games for the AFC Wild Card round. Why? Well, after the Damar Hamlin game, I think the NFL wants the Bengals and Bills to square off next round. I think we kind of all want it. And, I fully expect that’s what we get.

The Ravens won’t have Lamar Jackson and it looks like his tenure there could be coming to an unceremonious end. Even if he played in this game, I’m not sure that the Bengals would lose to them in this match. The Ravens have almost no one that would be a top starter on a team as one of their skill players. Obviously, Jackson is a top quarterback, and Tight End Mark Andrews looks like he is one of the best in the NFL, but aside from that, who do they have that you’d want on your favorite team? Still, you can’t count out the Ravens completely. Their defense is one of the better ones in the league and they have a good coach. I think it is at least reasonable to think they can keep this game somewhat close even with a garbage quarterback Tyler Huntley or Anthony Brown taking the ball. If Jackson does come back, you’d have to imagine that he’d be a bit rusty after missing so much time and so many practices.

The Bengals are playing as well as you would hope after a bad start to the season. Opening up they lost at home to the Steelers, then they lost on the road to a Dak Prescott-less Cowboys team. Since then, they’ve gone 12-2 and haven’t lost another game at home. They had the aforementioned Hamlin game that we talked about already, but they rebounded nicely last week and beat this same Ravens team. I was a bit surprised about how they played it, but they coasted to victory after building a big lead. In the second half they still had Burrow in the game and he threw 42 passes total. I know the game still mattered but was still surprised he played that long and did that much. Frankly, it doesn’t much matter. The way the Bengals defense is playing is very impressive. They haven’t allowed more than 24 points in six weeks, and haven’t allowed more than 24 points at home all season.

I think the Bengals coast in this game. Last week they won by 11 and barely even tried in that game. I’m taking them to win at -8.5. These are still teams very familiar with each other so I wouldn’t be shocked if this lost, but I feel like the Bengals should win this by 10 points. They just can’t start looking ahead to facing the Bills and Josh Allen even if we do as fans.

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Written by David Troy

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