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Ravens-Bengals Week 7 Preview, Prediction, Where to Watch

Baltimore looks to go 6-1 against AFC North rival.

Cincinnati Bengals (4-2) at Baltimore Ravens (5-1)

When

Sunday, Oct.. 24, 2021, 1 p.m., at M&T Bank Stadium.

Spread

Ravens -6 (SI SportsBook).

How to Watch/Listen

Television: CBS / WJZ Ch. 13 (Baltimore)

Coverage Map506sports.com 

Mobile: Ravens Mobile app for iOS and AndroidRavens websiteRavens Pregame LiveYouTube, Ravens website, Ravens Mobile app, and Ravens TV App for Roku, Fire TV, and Apple TV

Local Radio: WBAL (1090 AM) & 98Rock (97.9 FM)

National Radio: Compass Media Networks

Stream: Ravens Mobile appRavens website

Series History

The Ravens lead the all-time series with Cincinnati, 27-23. Baltimore has won five straight, including a 38-3 game when the teams last met in Week 17 of 2020. In that game, the Ravens rushed for a team-record 404 yards, with quarterback Lamar Jackson throwing three touchdowns. Under head coach John Harbaugh, Baltimore is 14-12 vs. Cincinnati.

By the Numbers

4 – NFL defenders this season to record at least one sack and one interception in a single game: Ravens safety DeShon Elliott, Bears linebacker Roquan Smith, Bills defensive end Greg Rousseau and Panthers linebacker Shaq Thompson. Last Sunday in the win against the Chargers, Elliott tallied three tackles, one sack, one interception (the first of his career), and two passes defensed.

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Notable

Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson has 2,078 combined yards (pass and rush), ranking as the NFL’s second-most, entering Week 7 (Tom Brady - 2,101). 

Player Spotlight

Outside linebacker Justin Houston

The steely veteran needs .5 sacks to reach 100 for his career. With at least a half-sack, Houston would become the 37th player in NFL history to reach the coveted 100 milestone.

Ravens Game Plan

Offense

Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson is having an MVP-caliber performance over the first six games of 2021. Jackson is not only beating teams with his ability to run the football, but he's also making them pay for stacking the box by making explosive plays downfield to his wide receivers. Jackson is ranked ninth in the NFL with 1,686 yards passing. He has thrown for nine touchdowns with six interceptions. He also leads the team with 392 yards rushing with another two scores. The wide receivers are doing a better job catching the ball, running clean routes, and getting yards after making a reception. Baltimore has been led by wide receiver Marquise Brown and tight end Mark Andrews. Brown is ranked eighth with 486 yards receiving, and Andrews is right behind him at No. 11 with 468 yards, which is tied with Kansas City's Travis Kelce. The Ravens have four capable running backs — Latavius Murray, Ty'Son Williams, Devonta Freeman, and Le'Veon Bell  — capable of making plays. Baltimore is ranked fourth in the NFL with 155.2 yards rushing per game. 

The Bengals' defense is much improved from previous years. They are ranked eighth against the run (90.5 ypg) and 13th against the pass (240.5 ypg). Defensive end Trey Hendrickson has been dominant with 5.5 sacks. Defensive tackle B.J. Hill has also been capable of getting to the quarterback with three sacks, Linebacker Logan Wilson has a team-leading four interceptions and 52 tackles in six games. Cincinnati also has familiarity with Baltimore's offense as an AFC North rival. The Ravens have done a solid job attacking teams where they are most vulnerable. The Ravens would like to have balance with running and throwing the football, but if the Bengals stack the box, they'll try to beat them over the top.  

Defense

The Ravens only got one look at Joe Burrow last season because of an injury. He's been mostly solid this season but has taken his share of hits with 16 sacks. Burrow has thrown for 1,540 yards with 14 touchdowns and seven interceptions. The Bengals have three prolific wide receivers — Ja’Marr Chase, Tyler Boyd, and Tee Higgins — and they could create matchup problems for the Ravens secondary.  Cincinnati's pass offense is ranked 18th in the NFL with 238.3 yards per game. The Ravens confused Chargers' second-year quarterback Justin Herbert with different looks, and they'll look to do the same against Burrow, The key for the Ravens will be tackling, which was much improved against Los Angeles.

Joe Mixon leads the Bengals with 480 yards rushing. He can change the course of a game when healthy. Mixon is an explosive player that can break a big play downfield. Fellow running back Samaje Perine has also been solid with 4.4 yards per carry. The Ravens are ranked third against the run, allowing just 82 yards per game. If they can take away the Bengals run game, they'll be able to force turnovers by Burrow. Last week, the Chargers managed just 26 yards on the ground.

Prediction

With the exception of last year, the Bengals have traditionally played the Ravens tough. This is the Ravens' first divisional game. Cincinnati beat the Steelers 24-10 in Week 3. Baltimore is playing before a spirited home crowd and should be able to win the turnover battle. Jackson outduels Burrow.

Ravens 31, Bengals 20