Let's not sugarcoat this and just get to the point.
The Ravens are a below-average team going against the best team in the AFC North, in a must-win game that could point the team in one of two directions. The problem is there is nothing happening right now that points to a win for Baltimore.
The running game is garbage, no matter the opponent. The offensive line is average at protecting Joe Flacco. Flacco's had a tendency to hold the ball for too long. The offense hasn't been able to post 20 points in three consecutive games.
That said, the Bengals won't have Geno Atkins (for the rest of the season) or Rey Maualuga out there today. The Bengals allowed the Dolphins to run all over them a week ago. Then again, the Bills have had a horrible run defense and the Ravens did nothing against them. Why will this change this week?
Cincinnati was a turnover machine last week. For the Ravens to have a chance, they'll have to force turnovers and keep the game low-scoring. I don't have confidence that this team can keep up with the Bengals if they score some early touchdowns.
I do think the defense limits Cincinnati's big plays. But as mentioned, there's nothing that points to a Ravens win today.
Prediction: Bengals 27, Ravens 17