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Not every team the 4-2 Cincinnati Bengals have beaten is top-notch, but regardless, it looks as if Zach Taylor’s team can keep winning, their improvements on defense and their offensive line helping second-year quarterback Joe Burrow and his favorite target Ja’Marr Chase connect more often, a duo that has posted 27 catches for 553 yards and 5 touchdowns together.
The 5-1 Baltimore Ravens are balancing between a stifling defense and a stellar rushing attack that features elusive quarterback Lamar Jackson who can just as easily target receivers Sammy Watkins and Marquise Brown as veteran running backs Latavius Murray, Devonta Freeman, and rookie Ty’Son Williams (below) find new rushing life for this rolling AFC North-leading team.
These two AFC North rivals have met each other 50 times, with the Baltimore Ravens winning 27 games and the Cincinnati Bengals winning 23 games.
So far in six games, the Cincinnati Bengals defense has been decent at keeping opposing quarterbacks on their toes, with 14 total sacks and five interceptions in 2021 they have improved from last season, and now the defense overall ranks eighth in the league.
Not bad for a franchise whose defense hovered in the bottom third of the rankings last year, a sign that the rebuild that is taking place in Cincinnati is finally kicking in thanks to excellent offseason moves in free agency and the draft.
The key to beating these Ravens is to figure out how to keep their mobile quarterback Lamar Jackson contained inside the pocket, easier said than done against a player who has essentially reinvented the way his position is played right now leading his team in rushing once again.
If Baltimore expects to beat this Bengals offense, it better focus on its main component which is quarterback Joe Burrow connecting with rookie receiver Ja’Marr Chase, a duo that used to hook up for LSU back in the day who have taken their show to the pro level now.
The Ravens own a top-6 passing defense that keeps the opposition to about 220 yards through the air every game, but the Burrow-to-Chase connection is not an easy one to snuff, so far this season with 27 catches for 553 yards and 5 touchdowns between the two.
Chances are the duty of covering Chase will go to one of the Ravens’ top cornerbacks, either Anthony Averett or Marlon Humphrey, but regardless of who gets the gig they will have their hands full with the 6’ 1” receiver who not only fights for the ball but who gets plenty of yards after the catch.
Fans of the Bengals already know about C.J. Uzomah who is fast becoming another favorite target of quarterback Joe Burrow, the 6’ 6” 260-pound tight end in his seventh NFL season and only now starting to make a bigger name for himself.
This season, Uzomah’s best game was in Week 4 when he caught two touchdown passes after snagging 5 receptions off 6 targets for 95 total yards, a big reason for his team’s win that game and a sign that he is ready for a bigger offensive role.
Already Uzomah has equaled his best season of touchdown catches with three, the same number he caught all year in 2018 in 16 games, so watch for him in the red zone as Cincinnati begins game-planning around his soft hands and his ability to get yards once the ball is in them.
Baltimore Ravens rookie running back Ty’Son Williams was on the team’s practice squad for most of last season but thanks to early injuries to starting running backs J. K. Dobbins, Justice Hill, and Gus Edwards, Williams now finds himself in that starting role.
So far this season, Williams has carried the ball 31 times in four games in which he has played for 170 total yards and a touchdown on top of catching seven passes for another 60 yards scoring his first NFL touchdown in Week 1 against the Raiders.
Now Williams finds himself as one of the starting running backs on a team that also features veterans Latavius Murray, Devonta Freeman, and Le’Veon Bell, so the young player has some talented role models surrounding him as he begins to make a name for himself in Baltimore.
|Bengals vs Ravens Information|
|Teams||Cincinnati Bengals vs Baltimore Ravens|
|Location||M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland|
|Time||Sunday, October 24, 2021; 1:00 PM ET|
|How to watch||CBS|
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Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]More info on Mike Lukas
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