Will it be the monochromatic one that played boring and uninspired football for 59 minutes and then wilts with their back against the wall and lets the Bengals roll down the field in the last seconds, helping them along the way with a couple of key penalties in easily their worst showing of the year? Or will it be the one that we saw this past Sunday that totally dominated the Denver Broncos on both sides of the ball in every matchup in the trenches, backfield and secondary as well as special teams?
(More on "Which Ravens' Team Shows Up..." after the 'Jump')
The Ravens could only muster 14 points versus the Bengals in Baltimore while they have scored over 30 points a game in five of the seven games this season. Remember the poorly thrown Red Zone interception that Joe Flacco threw on the first offensive series of that game? Points there could have easily made the difference in the outcome but were left on the field. Zero pass rush resulted in letting Bengals QB Carson Palmer just sit back and go through his reads, finally finding his #3 option for the game winner with seconds left.
If the Ravens can put anywhere near the pressure on Palmer that they did this past weekend on Denver's Kyle Orton, it should make a huge difference. While usually not a big part of the pass rush, the extent of DT Haloti Ngata's ankle sprain is worrisome to the team and fans. However, the results from the Bye week and Defensive Coordinator Greg Mattison's blitzing game plan certainly contributed to the win in a big way and we should all expect that to be the formula for future success.
But which team comes out of the tunnel in Cincinnati this coming Sunday? While we know which team the Ravens fans are rooting for, we also know which team the Bengals are rooting for and they are definitely not the same. The so-called "experts" seem to feel that it will be the more recent one, as they have surprisingly installed Baltimore as a three-point favorite on the road. I guess we'll all see, eh? Your comments?