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Week 10: Bengals vs Ravens Position-by-Position Breakdown

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Defensive Line:

With Atkins, the Bengals would definitely have the edge. Without Atkins, I still give the Bengals a slight edge, and here is why. While the Ravens have 14.5 sacks from Suggs and Dumervil, Suggs and Dumervil are “line backers” in the Ravens 3-4 scheme. Therefore, I don’t count them. The Ravens are 8th against the run and 3rd in the NFL with 3.4 sacks/game (27),however, of those 27 sacks only 6.5 are from the line. The Bengals on the other hand are 10th against the run, t-10th with 25 sacks, and of their 25 sacks, 20.5 are from the line (14.5 even without Geno). Therefore, given the Bengals line versatility, depth, and the fact that they have 4 lineman to Baltimore’s 3, I give the Bengals the advantage.

Advantage: Bengals

Linebackers:

On Sunday, Vontaze Burfict will be the best “true linebacker” on the field. However, we have to look at the group as a whole, and here is where the 14.5 sacks of Suggs and Dumervil come in to play. Hence, this is where the Ravens have an advantage. However, the extent of that advantage may not be what you would think. While Suggs and Dumervil are excellent rushing the passer, one way to neutralize that is to force them into coverage (or at least rush wider) with 2 tight end sets.

It just so happens that the Bengals have 2 pass catching tight ends and possibly run the most 2 tight end sets in the NFL. When Suggs or Dumervil are in coverage, they now become a liability for the Ravens. Regardless, with Maualuga and Boley out again, the Ravens certainly are better off at the linebacker position as a whole.

Advantage: Ravens

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