Week 11 Match UP: Cincinnati Bengals (6-3) @ Baltimore Ravens (6-3)
Important match-up in the AFC North. Cincinnati boasts one of the more dominant defensive lines and rookie QB Andy Dalton continues to impress. Rookie receiver A.J. Green is an explosive receiver and a legitimate threat. The Bengals had a major set-back to their secondary as corner Leon Hall is out for the season with an Achilles tear injury.
The Ravens are coming off a frustrating loss to Seattle. Fans will look for two things this Sunday: One, getting Ray Rice a good amount of carries and two, attack mode from the defense– ‘wreaking havoc.’
CHALK IT UP: Key Match-Up’s
WR A.J. Green vs. Ravens Secondary: Part of Rookie QB Andy Dalton success is that he has a speedster outside in rookie WR A.J. Green. The rookie wideout leads the team in receptions with 41 and has been targeted 68 times. He has complied 635 yards and 6 TD’s so far this season.The Ravens will be paying close attention to the Bengals number one playmaker.
LT Andrew Whitworth vs. OLB Suggs: T-Sizzle continues to make plays and left tackle Whitworth continues to be solid. The Bengals offensive line has done well protecting their rookie quarterback, the unit has allowed just 12 sacks on the season.
QB Andy Dalton vs. The Ravens D: The Ravens played primarily conservative the past two games and only have 2 sacks in 8 quarters. The defense needs to get back to wreaking havoc; stunts, blitzes and overloads. Just how aggressive will Chuck Pagano be with the rookie QB?
Bengals D-line vs. Ray Rice: The Ravens have struggled to run the ball, but fact remains the Ravens need to find balance. You would think they would try to find it Sunday, however the Bengals are not the best team to try to find the run game. With outstanding play from DT Pat Simms and DT Domata Peko, they are ranked 2nd versus the run, allowing just 86.8 yards per game.
Bengals Front 4 Pressure vs. QB Flacco: Most the Bengals sacks have come from their defensive lineman Geno Atkins (5 sacks), Forrest Rucker (4.5 sacks) and Jonathan Fanene (3 sacks), Carlos Dunlap (3.0 sacks). Their front has great depth with talents of DT Pat Sims, DT Domata Peko, DE Robert Geathers and DE Michael Johnson (5 PD, 3 sacks) . The Bengals have 11 sacks in the past two weeks. They total 25 sacks on the season. Defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer has fluster Flacco; four touchdowns, nine interceptions and a 62 passer rating in six games.
WHO MAKES THE HIGHLIGHT FILM:
Jonathan Scruggs: Joe Flacco
After a stunning upset the one player who has to rally the troops and set the tone for victory is your quarterback. If the Ravens are going to bounce back and shrug the Bengal monkey from off their backs, it’s going to have to start with Joe Flacco.
Matt Jergensen: Ray Lewis
The vet can still summon great performances when needed. Baltimore needs a big one this weekend in a crucial division match-up on their home turf. What time is it?
Gene Winner: Ed Reed
I called Reed’s number last week, but Reed was hardly a factor. This week, I’m counting on Reed to spark the defense.
Ben Zinman: Ricky Williams
Ricky Williams will make the highlight reel. If Ray Rice is not able to generate a running game early maybe Ricky will get some extra carries.