The Ravens entered Week 7 on a five-game winning streak, with a potential to open the season with a 6-1 record before their bye week. Regrettably, this did not happen. The Bengals outplayed them on all sides of the ball, and they lost 41-17 at home, their worst loss of the season.
Baltimore had some good moments in this game, including a third-quarter lead, but they couldn't keep the momentum going.
The Ravens' defense, which held the high-powered Chargers to only six points in Week 6, could not repeat the feat on Sunday. Poor tackling and failed coverage assignments hurt them as they struggled to halt the Bengals' passing attack
The Ravens forced the Bengals to punt on three of their first four runs and only conceded a field goal midway in the second quarter. They were continually putting pressure on Joe Burrow, forcing incompletions on third down. The Bengals went ahead 10-3 as C.J. Uzomah broke loose for a 56-yard score.
Cincinnati did not punt again for the remainder of the game, scoring four more touchdowns. Uzomah's two scores went for 55 and 32 yards, respectively, on Ravens' secondary busted coverages. After three Ravens defenders failed to wrap him up, Ja'Marr Chase scored an 82-yard touchdown on a catch-and-run.
The Bengals accumulated over 500 yards of offense, with over 400 of those yards coming via the air. This is the third time this season that Baltimore's defense has surrendered these yards to an opponent: the Raiders in Week 1 and the Colts in Week 5. However, the 41 points conceded were a new low.
Their November schedule is clearly not easy, but it would not surprise me if they swept whatever will be coming in front of them aside. When they face the Vikings next, the Ravens will be like a good gaming device backed by a strong internet connection. (To understand more on what good internet means for gaming, see here) They seemed to have established some momentum before the Bengals loss, and regaining it will not be seen as a massive ask.
We take a closer look at the upcoming fixtures for the Ravens.
Minnesota Vikings (H) – November 7
The Vikings are a difficult team, with a 3-3 record after six games, showing their unpredictable character.
Each of their last games was won or lost by less than seven points, except for a 30-17 victory over the Seattle Seahawks.
The Vikings needed overtime to beat the Carolina Panthers, which was the second time they had to go to extra time this season.
Multiple close calls have a way of catching up with NFL clubs, and the Ravens will see this game as a must-win situation.
This season, the Ravens have looked strong on their home turf and should be too much for the Vikings in what is sure to be a tense matchup.
The Miami Dolphins (A) - November 11
With the Dolphins holding to a 1-5 record in the early part of the season, the Ravens should be unfazed by a trip to Miami.
Tua Tagovailoa made his comeback from injury against the Jacksonville Jaguars, but he could not turn around the team's fortunes.
The Dolphins' pursuit of Deshaun Watson continues, which will surely negatively affect Tagovailoa's mentality right now.
Given the seriousness of Watson's sexual misconduct charges, it seems unlikely that any NFL franchise would consider him a viable choice.
The Dolphins' reluctance to provide Tagovailoa with any guarantees concerning his future might work in the Ravens' favor, as they are heavily favored to win this game.
Chicago Bears (A) – November 21
While the Bears are another side that struggles to maintain consistency, the Ravens should not underestimate their threat.
In recent triumphs over the Detroit Lions and the Las Vegas Raiders, rookie quarterback Justin Fields looked terrific, but the Green Bay Packers proved to be a far more difficult opponent.
The Packers sacked Fields four times, and he completed only 16 of 27 passes for 174 yards, a touchdown, and an interception.
The Bears' season has been hampered by injuries to numerous key players, and they will be hoping for some relief in the coming weeks.
The Bears have won two of their first three home games, indicating that they are no pushovers on their own turf, but the Ravens appear to be a solid bet to win.
Cleveland Browns (A) - November 28
The Browns have been particularly hard struck by injuries, with many key players missing in recent weeks.
Browns stars Jarvis Landry, Denzel Ward, Greg Newsome II, Jedrick Wills Jr, Tyler Conklin, and Nick Chubb have all been ruled out of the game.
Baker Mayfield has been dealing with a shoulder problem since Week 2, while Kareem Hunt has been struggling with a calf injury.
Cleveland slipped to 3-3 on the season after a humiliating 37-14 home loss to the Arizona Cardinals, and things might get a lot worse for them in the coming weeks.
The Ravens' next schedule is full of challenging games, and they should have enough in their arsenal to win this one.