EIBTN: Bengals Week 6 vs Ravens Run’ N Gun
Thankfully, if it weren’t for the grand favor of the -17.5 odds the Patriots hold over the Giants, the Bengals would take the crown. A -11.5 point underdog to the Ravens, this marks their most extensive margin on the season so far. This spread entails a rather easy victory for Baltimore; however, history might say differently. In the past two seasons, the Bengals have been able to split games against their division rival, mirroring the complete series in history, which sits at 23-23.
The combination of professionalism and excitement is one the NFL is desperately trying to achieve. Obviously, in its most significant moments & the sport itself, excitement exists, but the desire is for on a constant scale that usually the NCAAF is tied with. That takes more points and leaders of football teams that break the common themes. QB Lamar Jackson was a walking example and had this Ravens team scorching the headlines.
As weeks passed, though, Jackson has been on a steady decline. From a perfect 158.3 debut to a 54.9 QBR last week, the struggle has leaked into the whole Ravens team. Also, every week, Jackson’s passing yards total has decreased, and in the previous two games has had multiple INTs.
The suffering of the Ravens isn’t solely because of Jackson’s deteriorating play. At a point, it will pick back up, and the Bengals have to be alert in not being the ones to kick it back off. Even with a lessening passing attack, the Ravens offense is still the NFL’s leader in offensive touchdowns per game at 3.8. Largely in parts, to being successful in the red zone, third downs, and efficiency from a very active rushing team.
According to teamrankings.com, the Ravens are the NFL’s 8th best in red-zone conversion (TDs only) at 63.64%, & slide just one slot back in ranking when advancing on 46.03% of their third downs. Then to clarify their noted efficiency earlier, they average 192.2 rushing YPG per 36 attempts, dividing into the 5th most YPC in the NFL at 5.3.
However, this recent underwhelming trend doesn’t stop there for the Ravens. From a talent standpoint, who could deny their defense? In reality, the negative impact from the loss of LB CJ Mosley increases by the week. Couple that with a disappointing Earl Thomas we never thought could exist, and now an injured Tony Jefferson, it is lifeless. In the three past games, teams have averaged 434 total yards against them and a league’s worst 7.4 yards per play. Granite, the Chiefs were one of three opponents, but so were division rivals Browns & Steelers.
Traveling to the fearless M&T Bank Stadium, the Bengals are going to have their plates full against a Ravens squad looking to bounce back and take an early commanding lead on the AFC North.