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Ravens News 10/21: AFCN Rivalry and more

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NFL: Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Lamar Jackson, Ravens Aren’t Taking the Bengals Lightly - Ryan Mink

Baltimore has won all five games in the AFC North rivalry since Jackson took over, and the Ravens have done it quite convincingly the past couple seasons. Over the past three games, Baltimore has won by a combined score of 114-19.

“You can’t overlook anybody in the NFL – no team in the NFL,” Jackson said. “[If] you’re doing that, you might as well [not] even play football.”

“Sound defense. They’re flying around,” Jackson said. “They’ve bumped the defensive line up, linebacker corps, secondary. They look pretty good on film. They look great on film.”

“Chase has added a lot of juice to their offense,” cornerback Marlon Humphrey said. “It’s actually been really surprising. He’s really made the NFL look pretty easy.”

“He’ll stay in there and take a hit. He’s not one of those quarterbacks that are scared to get hit,” Humphrey said. “The other thing is that when he throws the football deep, he lets it fly. … He’s very confident. That’s one of the things I’ve seen since college. Joe’s just one of those quarterbacks that picks his guy over yours. He does that very often.”

Taylor-Made Takes: Sunday’s Must-To-Do List Starts With “Take Care Of The Ball And We Have To Take Possessions Away From Them’ - Geoff Hobson

What absolutely has to happen in Baltimore to win?

ZT: You have to have possession of the football. That’s really where they’ve teed off on teams taking away the football. Putting pressure on you. They do a good job of stripping the ball. (Cornerback) Marlon Humphrey is the best in the business at punching the ball out. So take care of the ball and we have to take possessions away from them as well. That’s the thing you say every week, but against a team like Baltimore, that’s truer now than ever. We know what kind of stress their offense can put on the defense. You want your guys to be able to play well on defense and be able to catch a breath and go back out there and do it again because there are a lot of extended plays that happen and that does have an effect on a defense over the course of a game.

It always seems where Lamar has hurt the Bengals is on the edge with the option and you’re much stouter there now.

ZT: We are. But they’re not just one dimensional. That’s why he’s so good. You try to stop the run and you do a great job there and he can still beat you over the top. Those guys do a great job with their scramble drill mechanics. He’s rare. You don’t face a guy like him very often and we face him twice a year.

Ten buyers and sellers ahead of 2021 NFL trade deadline - Kevin Patra


Baltimore Ravens

The Ravens have shown they’re the cream of the AFC crop, winning five straight games, including crushing the contending Chargers in Week 6. Lamar Jackson has been an MVP, carrying the club. But there are holes to fill. Sure, Baltimore got production from 31-year-old Latavius Murray, 29-year-old Le’Veon Bell, and 29-year-old Devonta Freeman on Sunday, but aging legs rarely last into the winter. Will Baltimore keep them fresh enough, with a dash of Ty’Son Williams to roll into January? Wouldn’t adding a young runner like Marlon Mack, freeing Ronald Jones from Tampa, or prying Phillip Lindsay out of Houston look better long-term next to Jackson? The offensive line has question marks with Ronnie Stanley landing on IR. And the defense could use corner help. The lack of cap space hurts, but what about finally getting that Lamar contract done right now to lower his cap number this season, giving the team a least a little more breathing room?

NFL Week 7 underdogs: Making the case for six teams to beat the odds - Marc Sessler

UNDERDOG: Bengals +6

Tall order? Sure. These Bengals, though, have matured into a watchable outfit with difference makers on both sides of the ball. Fifth overall pick Ja’Marr Chase needed a month at the new job to become a plug-and-play luminary. The hammer-dropping wideout’s 553 receiving yards through his first six games are the second-most by any rookie in the modern era. Joe Burrow — Pro Football Focus’ sixth-ranked quarterback — has tossed as many touchdowns (14) as Justin Herbert and Kyler Murray.

Lou Anarumo’s defense is allowing the fifth-fewest points league-wide and the eighth-fewest yards on the ground. Linebacker Logan Wilson has emerged as a ballhawk, while free-agent edge Trey Hendrickson (with three sacks in the past two weeks) won hearts by housing Detroit rookie left tackle Penei Sewell, the guy many hoped Cincy would draft over Chase. The Bengals took the Packers to overtime and flat-out demoralized the Lions — Detroit went scoreless for 51-plus minutes and stalled at 3.7 yards per play — but can they hang with white-hot Baltimore? Stopping Lamar Jackson is a fool’s errand, but today’s Bengals aren’t scared of a street fight.

Said Chase of the team’s desire to make life tough on the enemy: ”We have to step on people’s necks.”

Ravens-Bengals Week 7 Preview, Prediction, Where to Watch - Todd Karpovich

The Bengals’ defense is much improved from previous years. They are ranked eighth against the run (90.5 ypg) and 13th against the pass (240.5 ypg). Defensive end Trey Hendrickson has been dominant with 5.5 sacks. Defensive tackle B.J. Hill has also been capable of getting to the quarterback with three sacks, Linebacker Logan Wilson has a team-leading four interceptions and 52 tackles in six games. Cincinnati also has familiarity with Baltimore’s offense as an AFC North rival. The Ravens have done a solid job attacking teams where they are most vulnerable. The Ravens would like to have balance with running and throwing the football, but if the Bengals stack the box, they’ll try to beat them over the top.

The Ravens only got one look at Jor Burrow last season because of an injury. He’s been mostly solid this season but has taken his share of hits with 16 sacks. Burrow has thrown for 1,540 yards with 14 touchdowns and seven interceptions. The Bengals have three prolific wide receivers — Ja’Marr Chase, Tyler Boyd, and Tee Higgins — and they could create matchup problems for the Ravens secondary. Cincinnati’s pass offense is ranked 18th in the NFL with 238.3 yards per game. The Ravens confused Chargers’ second-year quarterback Justin Herbert with different looks, and they’ll look to do the same against Burrow, The key for the Ravens will be tackling, which was much improved against Los Angeles.


Ravens 31, Bengals 20