The Cincinnati Bengals head into Baltimore Sunday night for one of their biggest game of the season. Road games within the division are always vital because if you're able to steal one on the road, it could be a massive piece to the puzzle to winning the division later in the season when tiebreakers and head-to-head matchups mean something.
Both the Bengals and Ravens come in at 2-2 overall, and both could very well be 4-0 teams. The Bengals have lost two games on last-second field goals with one being at the end of overtime to the Steelers.
The Ravens have been trailing by a total of 28 seconds between two games this season, which is an astounding stat. This game will have a lot of bad blood, but the talent and respect remain.
Cincinnati will need everyone to contribute to escape with a victory against this very talented Baltimore Ravens team, but here is the one player that could really make a serious impact as your weekly breakout candidate.
all player and team personnel courtesy of Pro Football Reference*
Bengals LB Logan Wilson is going to breakout on Sunday night
Logan Wilson may have the most critical role on the football field for the Bengals. Lamar Jackson's ability to run and escape the pocket while making big plays with his feet and arm makes Wilson's role crucial. Last year when the Bengals beat Jackson, Wilson totaled up six tackles and played as a spy on Jackson to contain him in the pocket.
The reason Logan Wilson will have such an important role is because of his speed and his ability to do multiple things as a diverse linebacker. He can drop back in coverage as we've seen many times, and he can also blitz and make plays along and around the edge and line of scrimmage.
Tackling is a huge part of beating the Ravens. Players like J.K. Dobbins, Lamar Jackson, and Mark Andrews are so great at getting yards after contact that if you can't wrap up and tackle, they will score quickly and make it a very long day. Wilson is one of the game's better linebackers, but he doesn't get the national recognition he deserves. He knows his assignments, and he delivers and does his job.
So far this season, Wilson has 26 tackles, 12 assisted tackles, and an interception. Last season he had four interceptions on the year. He is highly underrated in coverage, which could become useful across the middle of the field in this game. If Wilson can force a turnover in any way it could be part of the recipe to string a win together over a very good division opponent.
Wilson will probably be somewhat of a spy on Jackson throughout this game. I wouldn't expect it to be just him all game. Lou Anarumo is predicated on his ability to make adjustments and switch-up looks to make it tough on the offense.
We could see Wilson in many different looks Sunday but he is one of the guys with the speed to maintain him. He's not as fast as Jackson by any means, but he's a quick and very athletic linebacker. When you don't have to sacrifice one of your defensive backs in that role, it allows them to remain in coverage or be used elsewhere.
The winner of this game could move into sole possession of first place in the AFC North depending on what happens in the Browns-Chargers early afternoon matchup. This will be the Ravens' first division game of the season, and it will be the Bengals' second after the Week 1 battle with the Steelers where they lost.
Bank on Logan Wilson to be a major play-maker in this one.