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Ravens vs. Bengals, 1:00 ET
Week 2 started with a win for us in the matchup between the Vikings and the Eagles. We took the over and the Vikings did everything they could to stop that from happening and also helping it happen at the same time. They kept turning the ball over when it looked like they would score, but in reality, they did it in spots that helped the Eagles score. It was nice to win that one and get off to a good start for the week, but the job isn’t done. Now we turn to a really big matchup – especially for this early in the year – between the Ravens and Bengals.
Baltimore had quite the offseason with the drama between them and Lamar Jackson, but has since rebounded and seemingly put that behind them. In the first week, the Ravens looked pretty decent overall. They opened at home against the Texans and were able to win by 16 points. They did lose their running back to injury, but, sadly, it is one of the more replaceable positions in football and they have a plethora so it shouldn’t be an issue. Back to Jackson for a second, he only threw for 169 yards and one interception. Even his legs didn’t do much as he accumulated just 38 yards on the ground. If he replicates that performance against Cincinnati, the Ravens will lose by somewhere between 100 and a million. Jackson does seem to have a new target in Zay Flowers that he can work with, but not having Mark Andrews in the game certainly hurt them. He is questionable for this game, and if he returns, that should make the Ravens offense a bit more dynamic. The defense is where the Ravens really make their mark typically and last season they were able to hold Cincinnati to an average of 23 points per game.
History has seemingly repeated itself, huh? The Bengals opened last season against the Pittsburgh Steelers and were embarrassed at home. Joe Burrow looked terrible in that game and the Bengals lost. What happened in Week 1 this year? Well, Burrow and the Bengals traveled to play the Browns and lost 24-3. I wouldn’t exactly call this a panic situation, but you definitely don’t want to drop two straight division games to open your season. Burrow was only able to get 82 yards on 31 attempts. It was the worst passing performance of his career and it isn’t even close. On defense, the Bengals weren’t able to stop the running game of the Browns and ultimately that was the downfall. They limited Deshaun Watson to just 154 passing yards but they allowed 206 yards on the ground. Things don’t get easier for the Bengals but you have to imagine that Ja’Marr Chase and Burrow will reconnect against the Ravens and be able to make more of an impact (hard to make less of an impact than they did). Joe Mixon probably will be about as effective as he was last week (13 carries for 56 yards).
Do you remember what happened to the Bengals in Week 2 last season? They lost to the Cowboys on the road. Will history repeat itself here and they look terrible for two weeks to open the year before things click? I don’t think so. I think the Bengals win this game, but I’m not quite sure they will cover the spread. I also don’t have that much confidence in the Ravens to cover though either. Not much about their offense makes me think they will improve that much from Week 1 to Week 2. I like the under in this game. These teams play tight contests and neither is clicking out of the gate. I’ll take under 46.5.
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