Sunday, September 19, 2010

Keys to game: Ravens @ Bengals

The Ravens go into Cincinnati today smarting from two convincing losses at the hands of the Bengals last season. A let down is not in the cards but the question does remain, do the Bengals have the Ravens number?

In 2009 the Bengals winning formula centered upon the running game. Cedric Benson rushed for over 100 yards in both contests effectively setting up play action for signal caller Carson Palmer. This year play action can prove to be even more threatening with the additions of Terrell Owens and rookies TE Jermaine Gresham and WR Jordan Shipley.

On defense the Bengals have some very solid athletes starting with the corners Johnathan Joseph and Leon Hall. Ray Mauluga is an active and disruptive linebacker. Last week Marvin Lewis’ defense had trouble generating any pass rush. They will need to this week in order to keep the Ravens honest.

For the Ravens, expect them to take away Cedric Benson and force Carson Palmer to beat them by air. For this strategy to work, Joe Flacco has to be much more productive in the red zone this week than he was against the Jets on opening night.
This one looks to be a real dogfight as the Bengals try to steer clear of a 0-2 start.

So with this in mind, here are my keys to the game:

1. Joe Flacco and the Ravens need to stay patient on offense and take the short to intermediate routes over the middle that the Bengals struggle to defend.

2. Contain Cedric Benson

3. Get Ray Rice untracked in the passing game

4. Who’s got the Housh? The Ravens do…use him!

5. The Ravens secondary needs to keep the action in front of them

FINAL SCORE: Ravens 24, Bengals 17


Anonymous said...

Looks like kyle flacco sorry, joe flacco had a bad game. What infected him from the end of last to the begining of this season? I do not recognize him. He has not played this bad since he came to Baltimore.

Jerry B said...

Lots of blame to go around today, including an officiating crew that should be penalized by the league for negligence! Here we are again with a "D" that has not given up a TD in two consecutive games and a supposedly prolific "O" with a third year QB who looks uncomfortable, confused, tentative, indecisive and inaccurtate and receivers who once again have trouble getting open while Mark Clayton goes to the Rams and in less than 3 weeks becomes their leading receiver and one of the best in the league with a rookie QB! What's wrong with this picture?! With a proven former Pro Bowl QB waiting in the wings, it won't be long before we have a full blown QB controversy......