The Cincinnati Bengals took the outright AFC North crown for the second straight season on Sunday after defeating the Baltimore Ravens 27-16 but looked sporadic in the win. Nonetheless, that now is in the past as Baltimore will come to town once again this Sunday in a Wild Card showdown.
The game kicks off at 8:15 ET on NBC. The status of Lamar Jackson remains unknown and the Bengals probably won't have Alex Cappa at right guard. He was carted off but remained in good spirits.
Here are three key advantages the Bengals will have over the Ravens come Sunday night.
*all player personnel courtesy of Pro Football Reference
Elite playmakers on the outside
This is one thing the Ravens have lacked all year and losing both Rashod Bateman and Devin Duvernay for the season doesn't help their case. Mark Andrews is an elite tight end and he is a big-time weapon to have, but besides Andrews, the Ravens don't have a single receiver that surpassed even 500 yards receiving this year.
They currently have been using a lot of James Proche, Sammy Watkins, and Demarcus Robinson who are more than capable of being effective if you get caught on your heels as a corner. It still makes it a lot easier on the Bengals' defensive backs to be able to key in on the run which is Ravens' bread and butter, especially, if Lamar Jackson is back.
J.K. Dobbins has been a workhorse for the Ravens when healthy and I don't see that changing on Sunday night. The Bengals, on the other hand, have three wide receivers who would all be the #1 receiver on this current Ravens roster. They need to use that to their advantage. The Ravens don't want this game to be a shootout.
Marcus Peters and Marlon Humphrey will be leading the outside but Zac Taylor and Brian Callahan will need to do a good job disguising and using motion to free up guys like Ja'Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, and Tyler Boyd. A lot of the success of the passing game could lead into and feed off of the run game and how effective Joe Mixon and Samaje Perine are running the football.