3 questions the Bengals must answer in week 16 vs the Ravens

Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /
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Cincinnati Bengals
Chidobe Awuzie, Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /

Question No. 1: Can the defense contain Ravens quarterbacks?

I pose this question rather vaguely on purpose. As of this writing, it is unsure if Lamar Jackson will be ready. Jackson suffered an ankle injury against the Browns in week 14 and has yet to return to action.

In Jackson’s stead, undrafted protege Tyler Huntley has taken over and despite the losses, has played very well. Huntley doesn’t have the All-Pro pedigree of Jackson, but in many ways, they are the same quarterback.

Both possess strong arms, and both are extremely mobile. Sunday in the Ravens’ 31-30 shootout loss to the Green Bay Packers, Huntley almost single-handedly brought the Ravens back from a huge second-half deficit, much of the damage done with his legs.

Facing a mobile quarterback when playing Baltimore is nothing new. Cincinnati, prior to 2021 had been largely ineffective trying to contain Lamar Jackson. However, in year three of his tenure as defensive coordinator, Lou Anarumo finally put together the personnel and the game plan to contain Jackson.

Week 7 in Baltimore, Jackson only managed 257 passing yards and 88 rush yards, as Cincinnati pasted Baltimore 41-17. Don’t get me wrong, those are solid numbers, but the Bengal defense prevented Jackson from making the big splash play as most of his yardage was rendered harmless.

So where does that leave us for Sunday? As Bengal fans, do we want to see Cincinnati face an untested young quarterback fresh off two straight losses in a make-or-break situation for the team? Hell no!

Has anyone ever heard of Mike White? Cincinnati has a history of turning relative unknown quarterbacks into one-week Hall of Famers. For my money, give me a slightly hobbled Lamar Jackson that is going to have to rely on his passing prowess or lack thereof.

The Bengals should face Jackson and find a way to contain him for the division.