Stripe Hype Game Preview: Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals


Sep 7, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Mohamed Sanu (12) catches a two point conversation over Baltimore Ravens cornerback Asa Jackson (25) during the fourth quarter at M&T Bank Stadium. Cincinnati Bengals defeated Baltimore Ravens 23-16. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Bengals need to right the ship and with three straight home games, now would be the right time. The Baltimore Ravens are coming into Cincinnati looking for revenge on their week one loss to the Bengals in Baltimore. This week could decide who holds control of the AFC North and who is fighting for a wild card, and although still early, the Bengals could quiet some very loud critics.

Cincinnati Bengals Key to the Game:
Nothing is worse than this offense last week. Luckily, this team has proven that it is different at home than on the road. They will need to limit turnovers and get first downs. An early lead could give this offense the confidence to return to the games we saw in the first three weeks of the season. Andy Dalton might not have his top weapon again but will have to find a way to get the ball to his top two options in Mohammed Sanu and Jermaine Gresham. 

The defense needs to play smart football. They need to limit the run and shut down the pass. The Ravens are without their top Tight End for Baltimore due a season ending injury, so expect a different offense than week one. Baltimore is a more balanced offense and that could spell disaster for this struggling defense. Although the defense looks like Vontaze Burfict will be back this week after suffering a neck injury against the Colts Andrew Luck.

Baltimore Ravens Keys to the Game:
Baltimore allowed the Bengals control of the game in the first half. They must be better on both sides of the ball. The Bengals team they are facing is still a banged up team on offense and Baltimore will need to exploit young player’s mistakes.

Joe Flacco must find the end zone early and can’t afford to play from behind in Cincinnati. They will need to find their stride and attack, while keeping Flacco upright. Look for the run game to establish early and attack down field late.

Prediction: The Bengals have struggled against good teams, confidence from week one could be a factor to them finding a way to win. Bengals in a close one 23-20.