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Week 1 Ravens @ Bengals: Beatdown’s staff predictions

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Cincinnati Bengals v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

After a long offseason, Baltimore Ravens regular season football returns on Sunday at 1 PM ET. With the defense looking as strong as ever and the offense growing healthier over the last week, the Ravens are fully capable of earning a crucial road divisional win against the shorthanded Bengals.

Baltimore Beatdown’s Week 1 Predictions:

Bengals 27, Ravens 14. I'm probably in the minority, but I think Cincinnati is going to sneak up on some people this year. This is a talented team that previously made the playoffs five years in a row. Yes, the Bengals lost players like Vontaze Burfict, Adam Jones, and John Ross for this game; so did the Ravens. Yes, the Bengals have a bad offensive line; so do the Ravens. To me, it comes down to the fact the Bengals have owned Baltimore with a 6-2 record since 2013, and Cincinnati just knows how to beat them. I think Dalton will have a good game completing yet another big TD pass to A.J. Green, with another touchdown to Tyler Eifert. This is a bad matchup for a banged up Joe Flacco against a team that has owned him, look for a few Flacco interceptions by the Bengals thanks to the disruptions of Geno Atkins, Carlos Dunlap, and company. - Evan Mazza

Ravens 16, Bengals 10. The Bengals' offensive line is putrid and the Ravens defense can pressure Dalton into mistakes. Dalton is a QB that needs everything to go right and hates throwing into coverage. If the Ravens can consistently disguise their looks on defense, I don't see the Bengals scoring a lot. I'm down on the Ravens offense until proven otherwise, but I think the team will get Justin Tucker into FG range enough to walk away with the win. - Tyler Jackson

Ravens 20, Bengals 13. The Baltimore Ravens will stuff the Cincinnati Bengals' run game. Due to this, the Bengals will have to make way with their air attack, which won't give them much of a chance, considering Baltimore's secondary. Baltimore's offense will have to work their running backs during the first game with Joe Flacco returning from injury. Expect to see a heavy dosage of the play action pass. - Kyle J. Andrews

Bengals 20, Ravens 17. This matchup looks fairly even on paper, but I'm going to give the edge to the Bengals with the home crowd giving them enough juice to get it done in the opener. I'm not in love with Cincy's offensive line, and am certainly scared by the amount of players they'll be missing. But at the end of the day, a rusty Joe Flacco in a city that he historically performs poorly in is enough for me to pick Baltimore to start out the season 0-1. - Jacob Louque

Ravens 24, Bengals 21. The misery at Paul Brown Stadium comes to a close. Despite the Bengals injuries/suspensions and depleted offense line, this game will be a close, typical AFC North dog fight. But in the end, I think it will come down to the kicking game, and who has the kicker capable of making a clutch field goal. The clear answer to that question is the Ravens. It is on Justin Tucker's leg that I believe the Ravens will ride to a win. - Matt Cohen

Ravens 26, Bengals 9. Wallace gets loose for a deep touchdown to open the scoring. Suggs, Judon, Pierce and Urban combine to sack Dalton five times. Tucker begins his march towards the highest scoring single season in history with four long field goals. Weddle ices the game with a 4th quarter pick-six. - Vasilis Lericos