The Ravens travel to Cincinnati this upcoming Sunday to take on the Bengals, which is going to be an extremely intriguing game. The Bengals are coming off of a bye week, so they have had two weeks to prepare for the Ravens. And you know they were very interested in that Ravens beat down of the Broncos last week. Fans are going to be tuned in to see who learned more from the first meeting between these two teams when they took on one another on October 11, a game in which the Bengals took 17-14. I expect a similar type of game this week.
If I am John Harbaugh, I am worried that Carson Palmer is going to do what Kyle Orton didn't: throw the ball down field. And a lot. The Bengals are going to force the secondary to stop their talented receivers. Chad Ochocinco has had an extremely productive season, and they have a few other capable receivers with the likes of Chris Henry, Andre Caldwell, and Laveranues Coles.
In order for the Ravens' secondary to perform well, they will need to rely on the pass rush up front. And this could be a big problem this week, as Haloti Ngata is nursing his injured ankle. If he can't go, the likes of Justin Bannan and Kelly Gregg are going to have to fill his role, with help from the rest of the defensive line. However, Ravens defensive coordinator feels good about Ngata's chances to play, saying, "I think Haloti will do what he has to, to play." This is great news for Baltimore. If the Ravens defense can play like they did against the Broncos, they should be able to pull out another victory. The Ravens need to shut down Cedric Benson just as they with the Broncos running attack, as well as containing the receivers.
We'll see come Sunday. I'm going to add another new twist to this here blog, and that is my weekly prediction of the Ravens game, and maybe a few other games here and there. So this week, I'm taking the Ravens to put on a good performance, beating the Bengals 24-13. We'll see what I know come Sunday afternoon.