The 1-0 Baltimore Ravens will travel to Cincinnati to take on the 1-0 Bengals in this season’s second Thursday night matchup. Both teams were victorious on opening weekend but took different paths to get there. The Ravens completely dominated the Buffalo Bills in every aspect of the game in their 47-3 blowout victory. This game was never close as the Ravens led 26-0 at halftime limiting the Bills to just 33 yards and no first downs. The Bengals trailed the Colts 2310 midway through the third quarter but scored 24 unanswered to capture the 34 -23 victory. Line backer Preston Brown suffered an ankle injury and his status is questionable for this game. Brown had an immediate impact with 5 tackles and an interception against Indianapolis and his absence would be felt.
The Baltimore Ravens defense shined last week against Buffalo giving up just 153 yards to go along with 9 tackles for losses. They also produced 6 sacks and intercepted Nathan Peterman twice while shutting the run game down allowing just 83 yards on 22 carries. Joe Flacco had the offense in great form as he finished with a passer rating of 121.7. He completed 25 of 34 passes for 236 yards, 3 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. Nine different Ravens receivers caught passes and were lead by Willie Snead IV who had 4 catches for 49 yards and a touchdown. Kenneth Dixon led the running game with 44 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries. He suffered a knee injury late in the game and didn’t return and his status for this game is up in the air. Baltimore’s special teams was even clicking as Janarion Grant returned a punt 51 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter.
Running back Joe Mixon had a big day for the Bengals last week rushing for 95 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries while also catching 5 passes for another 54 yards. He accounted for 95 of the teams 101 rushing yards. Andy Dalton had a mixed day throwing the ball as he completed 21 of 28 passes for 243 yards, 2 touchdowns and 1 interception. His favorite target was A.J. Green who had 6 catches for 95 yards and a touchdown. Defensively, the were susceptible to the long ball as 7 different Colts receivers caught passes that gained at least 13 yards. They sacked Andrew Luck twice while forcing 1 turnover and 1 interception. They did a fine job against the run limiting Indianapolis to just 75 yards on 22 carries.
Both teams covered the spread in week 1 and this is an important early season matchup between the top two teams in the AFC North. The Bengals will have home field advantage for this game and are 1-point underdogs. Baltimore will be seeking some revenge as these two last met in the final week of the regular season last year with Cincinnati eliminating the Ravens from playoff contention with a 31-27 victory.