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Ravens Not Taking Bengals Lightly Despite Recent Success

Baltimore and Cincy play in Week 7,

OWINGS MILLS, Md. — The Ravens have won five consecutive games against the Bengals.

However, Cincinnati (4-2) is playing at a high level this season and will have an opportunity to take over first place in the AFC North when they travel to Baltimore (5-1) in Week 7.

The Ravens certainly are not taking the Bengals lightly despite the recent success.

“You can’t overlook anybody in the NFL – no team in the NFL," Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson said. "[If] you’re doing that, you might as well [not] even play football. These are grown men, and these guys are trying to feed their family, and it’s, ‘Any Given Sunday.’ 

"A team can be 0-15, and then they play you, [and] they might play their hearts out and come out with a ‘W.’ So, you can’t just go into a game overthinking or overlooking any team.”

The Bengals have a stout defense led by defensive end Trey Hendrickson, who has been dominant with 5.5 sacks. Defensive tackle B.J. Hill has also been capable of getting to the quarterback with three sacks, 

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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.

Overall, the Bengals are allowing 18.5 points per game, which ranks fifth in the NFL.

"I feel like they’ve brought in four or five good players upfront," Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. "They have a good middle linebacker. Of course, Hendrickson has 5.5 sacks already [and] numerous pressures. It’s not just him; [Sam] Hubbard is still doing a great job. [D.J.] Reader is playing well inside. [Larry] Ogunjobi is playing well inside. Those guys are also pass-rushers inside. 

"They’re blitzing every now and then, bringing Vonn Bell. They’re just doing a really good job with playing their defense, and they have good players doing it.”

The Ravens only got one look at Bengals quarterback 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 whole team is one of the best teams in the National Football League right now,” Harbaugh said. "There’s no question about it – just watch them play. They’ve done a great job across the board. In terms of how they’re playing this year, that’s all we look at."