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How To Beat The Cincinnati Bengals This Time

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Perhaps rather than wasting my time as well as yours, I should just copy the same story I posted in week five when we played each other in Baltimore. In that post I said:

Do what do the Ravens need to do on both sides of the ball to win this battle for first place of the division? Not much, just "play like a Raven" pretty much sums it up. Let the offense continue to move the ball, but put a little more emphasis on the run game than they did in New England, where they showed they could gobble up huge chunks of yardage at will. Throw the ball to keep the defense off of the line and when they creep up to put eight in the box, the air it out to make them pay.

Defensivlely, keep the Bengals out of the end zone. Bend but don't break between the 20's and force Cincy to kick field goals when they get into scoring position. Shut down the run game as usual and put lots of pressure on Carson Palmer, both with four rushers as well through a mix of stunts and blitzes. Don't give Palmer time to set up with deep drops and make our DB's look any worse than they've been already. Allow Ed Reed to provide help and start his run of picks that he did late in 2008. No long plays on offense for Cincinnati, much less Special Teams.

That pretty much still holds true for this game as well. I had mentioned in the October 9th post that this is not the old "Bungles" team that we saw last year and not only was I right up until that point, it's proven true since then as well.

In the first meeting between those teams, the Ravens did not listen to what I said they needed to do. They did not slow down Cedric Benson, they did not put pressure on Carson Palmer and their offense floundered and it certainly didn't help to throw a costly Red Zone interception on the Ravens first offensive possession.

However, if Baltimore follows the same game plan that led them to a dominating victory last week over the previously undefeated Denver Broncos, then there's no reason we can't do the same thing this week in Cincinnati. Remember the Ravens played horribly and the Bengals played great and we still could have and should have won that game up until the final seconds. If the Ravens can just play only a little bit better than they did in Baltimore, the revenge will be sweet and the result will tighten the race to the top of the AFC North.