The Bengals and the Ravens are not known for playing high-scoring affairs, and this one will be no different, as points will be at a premium.
Like last week, I’m going to do an in-depth projection for every Bengals game this season. Last week, I wasn’t super far off, although the Colts got out to a much hotter year than I expected. This week, as the Bengals take on the Ravens, this projection will be spot on.
To start, this game will be pretty slow. As both defenses come out looking to make their mark, the offenses will not be able to gain much traction. A couple of early field goals from both teams will leave the score at 3-3 at the end of the first quarter with very little production from either side to discuss. Each team will have racked up a sack and several TFLs.
The Bengals will piece together a nice drive in the middle of the second quarter to get a touchdown, thanks primarily to Mixon’s pass catching and a couple of big AJ Green catches. They will be responsible for moving the chains for the most part. Once the team goes up 10-3, the Ravens will respond with a clock-draining drive that ties the game at 10-10 heading into the half. Javorious Allen may be pesky all night, as he’s the one that gets the tying touchdown.
The second half starts very similarly to last week, as the Ravens start with a solid drive. They get deep into Bengals territory, but the red zone flexes its muscle once again. The Ravens settle for a short field goal. The Bengals will piece together another good drive, but it will peter out just outside of field goal range. They pin the Ravens deep in their own territory.
Once the Ravens go 3-and-out, Alex Erickson returns the punt and sets the Bengals up in Ravens territory near the end of the third quarter. The offense capitalizes, scoring a critical touchdown to go up 17-13. The Ravens tack on another field goal after that drive, but it’s not enough as the Bengals eat up a lot of 4th quarter clock en route to a short field goal. The Ravens are helpless, and can’t reach the end zone in time.
I don’t think it will be easy, but the Bengals will sneak out a 20-16 victory. The primetime stigma will start to be erased and the team will prove itself to the rest of the NFL.