NFL Week 8 – Ravens Hope to Fight Off Bengals
John BensonNo comments
What a difference seven weeks makes in the NFL. The Cincinnati Bengals (3-2-1, 2-0-1 home) opened the season with three straight wins before going on a three-game winless streak (which includes a tie).
Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis said, “We’ve got a lot of details to be better at, and to challenge ourselves to be better at, and we have to do it very quickly.”
The winless streak is no surprise when you consider all of the Bengals’ injuries. Stud receiver A.J. Green has missed the last two weeks with a toe injury. With Green in the lineup, the Bengals are outscoring opponents 97-74. Since his injury, the team has been outscored by a whopping 64-37. Green’s status is currently uncertain for Sunday’s game.
Lewis said, “A.J.’s made a lot of progress, and as we go through the week we’ll see as always how things go. I think he’s made significant progress, and feels good about everything that he’s being told, and what the prognosis is.”
In addition, middle linebacker Vontaze Burfict was knocked out of last week’s game against Indy and was limited in practice on Wednesday. The Bengals defense looked a lot more vulnerable in his absence.
Considering the Bengals host the division-leading Baltimore Ravens (5-2, 2-1 away), Lewis will be praying his star wideout and leading tackler can make it back this week.
After a somewhat sluggish 3-2 start to the season, the Ravens have won back-to-back games behind the powerful pass rush of Elvis Dumervil, Pernell McPhee, and Terrell Suggs.
Aware of the fact that his squad has lost seven of its last nine games against Cincinnati, Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said, “It’s not the last game of the season. It doesn’t have that kind of drama to it, but it is important. You are in your division, you’re playing a team on the road, a team that’s beaten us once at home already.”
He added, “We’ll learn where we stand. That’s what we’ll find out. And that’s going to be very interesting. I’m looking forward to finding that out. It’s a big deal.”
The Ravens have not gone without injury trouble, themselves, this season and will be missing TE Owen Daniels on Sunday.
If Green is able to go, Cincy has a decent shot at keeping their home undefeated streak alive; but, given Green’s uncertain status and the Baltimore’s recent success, the right play here is the Ravens moneyline.