(10/9/22) 8:15 PM Eastern.
Spread: Bengals +3.5 / Ravens -3.5
Moneyline: Bengals +155 / Ravens -185
Total: Over / Under 48
The AFC North clash on Monday Night Football as the Cincinnati Bengals take on the Baltimore Ravens in week 5. Kickoff is scheduled for 8:15p.m. eastern time at M&T Bank Stadium.
Cincinnati Bengals (2-2)
Joe Burrow and the Bengals have gotten things back on track after an ugly 0-2 start. They handled the Jets by a score of 27-12 and then beat the Dolphins 27-15. Burrow’s completed 64% of his passes for 562 yards and 5 touchdowns in his last 2 games. The ground game that was successful a season ago has yet to get going behind this new look offensive line. Joe Mixon’s averaging just 2.7 yards per carry with 1 touchdown on the season. Mixon called for a private meeting with his offensive line to help get on the same page and try to improve this rushing attack.
The Bengals defense has been very good, they have yet to allow more than 23 points in a game and let up an average of 17.5 points. They’ve been exceptional against the run, allowing just 85.8 rushing yards a game (4th best in the NFL). Their pass defense hasn’t been nearly as stout, ranking 19th in the league allowing 241.8 air yards a game. A struggling pass rush has a lot to do with that, they have just 7 sacks on the season and 4 of those came against Joe Flacco and the Jets.
Baltimore Ravens (2-2)
Blowing leads is what Baltimore does best this season. They lost after leading by 21 against Miami and then lost to Buffalo last week after leading by 17. Despite it being tied with just 4 minutes to go late in the 4th quarter, Harbaugh elected to go for it on 4th and goal and Baltimore failed to convert. Buffalo went on to drive down the field and kick the game winning field goal. It was Lamar’s worst game of the season as a passer, throwing for just 144 yards and 2 interceptions. JK Dobbins made his return last week and ran in one of Baltimore’s 2 touchdowns. WR Rashod Bateman has been ruled out for this game.
This Baltimore defense is just bad. It’s this leaky secondary that’s been blowing all these leads. They’re allowing 25 points per game (24th), 425 total yards per game (30th), and 315.3 passing yards per game (dead last). Mike Macdonald is in his first year as defensive coordinator, taking over for Ron Martindale who left New York. It hasn’t been great. Like Cincinnati they have just 7 sacks on the season, 3 of which came against Joe Flacco and the Jets. At the rate in which teams throw against them, it’s exceptionally poor. They do at least rank middle of the pack against the run, allowing 109.8 rushing yards per game (15th). They did sign Jason Pierre-Paul a couple weeks ago; he made his first appearance last week, but they’ll need him to produce to sure up the pass rush woes.
CIN/BAL OVER 48. Expect plenty of passing in this game. Joe Burrow and the Bengals pass attack has gotten going the past 2 weeks, he’s completed 64% of his passes for 562 yards and 5 touchdowns during that span. Most importantly he’s been sacked just 3 times and one of those was a slide to burn clock. The Ravens pass rush is practically non-existent, they have just 4 sacks in their last 3 games. Baltimore also owns the leagues worst pass defense; they allow 315.3 passing yards per game. Despite a better defense last year, Joe Burrow and the Bengals still hung 41 up on the Ravens TWICE last year. On the other end you have Lamar Jackson leading the third best scoring offense in football, averaging 29.8 points per game. He’s carried this Ravens team thus far, amassing 1,209 total yards and 13 touchdowns. You’re going to get the best of Lamar, he lost both games to the Bengals last year and they get them at Home. The game following their collapse to Buffalo, Lamar combined for 325 yards and 5 touchdowns, he’ll show out again following last week’s blunder in a revenge spot vs Cinci.