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Ravens News 10/7: Scouting Report and more

Cincinnati Bengals v Baltimore Ravens Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Offense Will Adjust If Rashod Bateman Does Not Play vs. Bengals - Clifton Brown

Top wide receiver Rashod Bateman (foot) missed practice Thursday for the second straight day and may not be available Sunday night against the Bengals.

If Bateman misses his first game this season, the Ravens would be forced to adjust offensively. Bateman leads Baltimore’s wideouts in receiving yards (243) and is just 17 yards behind tight end Mark Andrews (260) for the team lead.

“Bate is really valuable to us,” Offensive Coordinator Greg Roman said. “He’s really coming along as a receiver, so if he’s not out there, he’s definitely going to be missed, but the flip side of that is we have some other guys who can step in there and make plays for us as well.

“I like what I’m seeing out at practice this week, so we just have to keep working through it. We have a multitude of tight ends, our receivers are doing a great job, when you look at their production based on what we’re asking of them, they’re extremely productive. I feel really good about it. Some other guys will step up.”

Bengals Notebook: Taylor-Britt Brings Karma; New-Look Ravens Defense Eyes Heating Up Burrow; Hot Vonn Bell Ranges Into Battle Of Safeties - Geoff Hobson

The Ravens aren’t blitzing like the Wink Martindale days of yore. They’re 11th in the league at 27.6 percent of the time. But Callahan notes Martindale’s successor as Ravens defensive coordinator is Mike Macdonald, an intern, secondary and linebackers coach in Baltimore for seven seasons before returning this season after a year as Michigan defensive coordinator.

“I wouldn’t say that it’s changed. I would say the deployment of the blitzes might be just a little bit different,” Callahan said. “Their personnel is different. Some of the exotic stuff they may not run because they don’t have the people for it, but he was with Wink for (seven years). He’s willing to deploy those as needed.”

The Ravens lead the NFL forcing 10 turnovers. But Burrow has not thrown an interception in seven of his last eight regular-season games

Ravens vs. Bengals scouting report for Week 5: Who has the edge? - Childs Walker

Ravens passing game vs. Bengals pass defense

Lamar Jackson played his worst game of the season in a Week 4 loss to the Buffalo Bills, throwing two interceptions and struggling to see downfield targets against a defense that consistently pressured him without blitzing. The bad news for the Ravens is that the Bengals present a similar challenge, blitzing on just 17.2% of drop-backs and harassing quarterbacks with a pair of productive edge rushers in Trey Hendrickson and Sam Hubbard. Cincinnati sacked Jackson five times in a 41-17 blowout in Week 7 last year, with Hubbard and Hendrickson combining for 3 1/2 of those. This would be an opportune week for left tackle Ronnie Stanley to return.

Ravens running game vs. Bengals run defense

Cincinnati’s run defense took a major hit when defensive tackle D.J. Reader, one of the top interior defenders in football, went on injured reserve. They have not faced a strong ground attack — certainly not one with a threat such as Jackson — since they lost Reader, so their No. 4 ranking in run defense has to be taken with a grain of salt. That said, their safeties and linebackers are solid run defenders, so they are not easy to gouge.


The Ravens have outplayed the Bengals through four games but have only a 2-2 record to show for it. Can their defense be trusted to make a late stand against Burrow if the game is close? Can their offensive line give Jackson time to work against a defense that beat him up last season? This would be an easier call if the Ravens were not again facing injury questions at key spots, but Jackson’s legs will be their salvation in another close game. Ravens 30, Bengals 26

NFL Week 5 Picks Against the Spread - Sheil Kapadia

Cincinnati Bengals at Baltimore Ravens (-3)

For the reasons outlined in the video below, I think John Harbaugh made the right call going for the touchdown on fourth down against the Bills last week—even though the Ravens ended up losing. Having said that, one challenge Harbaugh faces is making sure his players understand why he’s doing what he’s doing, especially when his unorthodox decisions don’t work out. Last week, cornerback Marcus Peters was livid with Harbaugh, and the coach will have to manage that type of thing going forward.

The Bengals are coming off of a Thursday night win against the Dolphins. I’m not convinced that they’ve solved all their problems, but they handled the Ravens last year, winning both games by a combined score of 82-38. I know it’s a different Ravens team, but this feels like a coin-flip game. I’m taking the points.

The pick: Bengals (+3)

NFL Week 5 picks against the spread: Browns hold off Chargers’ charge; Rams, Ravens get back on track - Will Brinson

Bengals at Ravens

Sunday, 8:20 p.m. ET

Joe Burrow is starting to cook and the Ravens are a picture-perfect matchup for Cincy — they don’t really rush the passer well and they’re willing to give up big plays on the backend. The Bengals’ offensive line could look good here and I expect a TON of points — this feels like a Ja’Marr Chase blowup spot. I’m also not going to bet against the Ravens, John Harbaugh and Lamar Jackson at home in prime time, particularly after they went 0-2 against the Bengals last year by a combined score of 82-38. Baltimore could EASILY be 4-0, were it not for two 17-point-lead chokes. I think they do their prime-time thing and win in a very fun SNF game here.

The Pick: Ravens 38, Bengals 31

Week 5 NFL game picks: Surging Cowboys upset Rams; Ravens top Bengals on Sunday night - Gregg Rosenthal

Baltimore Ravens 27, Cincinnati Bengals 23

The Bengals’ defense is great at preventing big plays, while the Ravens’ offense is great at making them. The Ravens’ defense, meanwhile, has given up plenty of big plays, while the Bengals are among the league’s least explosive offenses despite the presence of Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins.