Baltimore Ravens vs Cincinnati Bengals Preview 9-10-17
All good things must come to an end. Head coach John Harbaugh and quarterback Joe Flacco have won a lot of games together, including a Super Bowl. But Flacco’s best years are behind him. Last season, he had 20 touchdown passes, and 15 interceptions, and lost two fumbles. And yet, Baltimore went with defensive players of their first four draft picks and didn’t select a single skill-position player in the entire draft.
Senior offensive coordinator coach Greg Roman says Baltimore won’t be a ‘ground and pound’ offense, but that’s exactly what Roman ran as the offensive coordinator at both San Francisco and Buffalo, and that’s why he was brought in.
Except for some friction between him and offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg winning the early battle, but losing the war.
Coordinator Dean Pees’s defenses have been consistently good through the years. And last year his unit was top-5 in almost every category heading into December, then cornerback Jimmy Smith was lost to injury. It was all downhill after that as the team gave up 30 points to New England, 26 points to Philadelphia, 31 points to Pittsburgh, and 27 points to Cincinnati.
Baltimore has one of the league’s best kickers in Justin Tucker (38 for 29 firsts goals, 27 for 27 in extra points). He could make the difference in a couple of close games.
Baltimore Ravens vs Cincinnati Bengals Predictions 9-10-17
Each year I like to select an under the radar, non-playoff team to perform better than everyone expects and make the postseason. Sleeper teams.
My pick for last season was Detroit. This year it’s Cincinnati.
Head coach Marvin Lewis and quarterback Andy Dalton are 55-39-2 SU together. Last year was their first losing season and the first year they did not advance to the postseason since Dalton came into the league in 2011. There were a lot of missing pieces that contributed to that, including an injury to tight end Tyler Eifert, and the loss of offensive coordinator Hue Jackson to Cleveland. And defensive assistants Vance Joseph, and Matt Burke to Miami.
This year should show a bit more stability.
Cincinnati faces a rough scheduling stretch after their bye week. They play four out of five games on the road, including three road games in a row. However, they’ve been down that road before and won three road games in a row in 2014. Only 10 out of 132 teams have done that.
Baltimore Ravens vs Cincinnati Bengals Picks 9-10-17
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