Predicting the Season: Week 1 Cincinnati Bengals @ Baltimore Ravens

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Nov 10, 2013; Baltimore, MD, USA; Cincinnati Bengals running back Giovani Bernard (25) runs with the ball during the game against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Each week from now until the middle of August, we will take a look at the season game by game. We will look at each matchup, the strengths and weaknesses, recent match up histories, and predict the outcome. We start at Week 1 in Baltimore:

The Baltimore Ravens have had success at home against the Bengals, at least the past 4 years, including an overtime win in 2013. The bulk of the Bengals wins against the Ravens have come at home. In fact, 11 of the 16 wins have come in Cincinnati against the Ravens according to Bengals.com. The Ravens lead the series 20-16 since they joined the league in 1996.

The Baltimore Ravens went through some growing pains as they made moves in the offseason last year to get rid of some age in the defense. Baltimore had some early success in last year’s meeting leading at half time 17-0 but the Bengals started their comeback with the defense shutting down Ray Rice and Joe Flacco in the second half, and a hail mary to make highlight reels for weeks. Overtime was a disaster and the Ravens won with the second possession field goal after the Bengals failed on 4th and 2.

I don’t expect this Baltimore Ravens team to take a step back. That means the Bengals will face a more experienced defense and, depending on the draft, a much more talented offense.

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