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Ravens vs. Bengals: Bold Predictions

Beatdown contributors share their bold predictions for Week 2

NFL: Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals Sam Greene-USA TODAY Sports

The Baltimore Ravens play their first division game against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 2. Here are a few bold predictions for the regular season opener from the Baltimore Beatdown staff.

Lamar Jackson and Joe Burrow, two of the highest-paid quarterbacks in the NFL, will only combine for two total touchdowns and less than 400 combined yards in a defensive struggle between two bitter AFC North rivals. There will be double-digit sacks combined between each team as both quarterbacks deal with struggling offensive lines to start the season. Roquan Smith finishes the game with 15+ tackles for the second week in a row, further cementing himself as a key figure in this heated rivalry. — Dustin Cox

This one doesn’t go well. Losing Dobbins, Stanley, and Linderbaum doesn’t help and already struggling offense and the return of Andrews isn’t enough. The passing offense and running Edwards in-between the tackles doesn’t work but the Ravens do make hay with Hill on the outside.

The defense also struggles early with Burrows week 1 difficulties left behind as he takes some early deep shots on an injured secondary. The front seven quickly comes to the rescue though, shutting down any chance of a run game and pressuring Burrow the rest of the night, forcing turnovers through the air and on the ground. Odafe Oweh in particular terrorized former Raven Orlando Brown Jr. all night. — Zach Canter

Odafe Oweh notches 3+ sacks, finally having his breakout game against Joe Burrow and the Bengals. We saw a glimpse of what Oweh might be capable of vs. the Texans last week, finishing second in the league in QB pressures with seven. The issue for Oweh has always been finishing sacks but it’s clear that he’s getting close. His pursuit speed of Texans quarterback CJ Stroud jumped off the tape as he was close to finishing the job multiple times. This week, he finally gets home. Expect Burrow to be on the run quite a bit this Sunday with Oweh in fast pursuit. This should be a low scoring game. With both offenses struggling to find a rhythm early in the season, the defenses will leave their mark, with Oweh having the largest impact. — Stephen Bopst

The Ravens’ offense will make some significant strides in terms of execution and consistency and will deploy a well balanced attack on the Bengals. I foresee running back Justice Hill not only repeating his two-touchdown performance but also recorded his first career 100-plus yard rushing game and will have at least two plays where he either runs over or jukes his younger brother Dax in open space. Odell Beckham Jr. will pick up where he left off in Super Bowl 56 before he got hurt and will terrorize the Bengals’ secondary to the tune of 120 receiving yards and a pair of touchdowns.

On defense, Defensive Coordinator Mike Macdonald will have another brilliant game plan devised to limit Joe Burrow and the Bengals. The pass rush will dominate for a second week in a row and the star of the show will be third-year pro Odafe Oweh who beat former Raven offensive tackle Orlando Brown Jr. for at least 2 sacks and several key pressures. Brandon Stephens will step up and limit Ja’Marr Chase to under 50 receiving yards and without a touchdown for the second week in a row and Kyle Hamilton will record his first career interception that actually counts. — Joshua Reed