Bengals Keys to the Game: at Ravens
Oct 26, 2014; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) against the Baltimore Ravens at Paul Brown Stadium. Bengals defeated the Ravens 27-24. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
The Cincinnati Bengals will travel to Baltimore to take on their division rivals, the Baltimore Ravens. This is the first divisional test for the Bengals in 2015 and they will have to be at their best to get to 3-0 for the second straight year. With the Bengals riding a three game winning streak against the Ravens, here are our keys to the game to make it four in a row.
Key to the Game: #1: Stop Justin Forsett Early
Justin Forsett has no fumbles lost and for the defense, it will be a key to shut him down from the start. When the run game because a non-factor, Joe Flacco is forced into the passing game and with three interceptions it is likely that the pressure on Joe Flacco will force errors and create havoc, just ask the Raiders how well it worked.
Key to the Game: #2: Force Turnovers
When you get the run game shut down, this almost comes right along with it. Joe Flacco has been shakey at best with two touchdown passes to his credit and three interceptions. A negative two turnover ratio and 20th ranked yards per game are working against them. The bend but not break philosophy last year played well in the Bengals favor in both match ups and could be implemented again in week three.
Key to the Game: #3: Stupid Penalties
Yes, Adam Jones, this means you. In two games so far this season, they Bengals have committed 15 penalties for 125 yards. Giving yards away and giving yards up are not only inexcusable but can be the difference in a close game, as most division games are in the AFC North. They cant afford to allow the Ravens to get under their skin and push buttons, because that is how teams can hurt you. It is nearly impossible to stay penalty free. The Ravens aren’t far behind with 13 but 10 penalties for 109 yards last week inflated those numbers greatly.
The Bengals have an opportunity to separate themselves from the Ravens in the division and that could be a key when they get into October with Seattle and Kansas City still to come before their week seven bye. If they can keep the Ravens unbalanced on offense and force turnovers, this game should tip in the Bengals favor. Lets just hope the offense keeps firing on all cylinders like they have early on this season.