The Worksheet, a fantasy football overview by Rich Hribar, breaking down everything you need to know for the Wild Card Round Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals Sunday Night Football game.
|38.78%||4||Opp. Rush %||40.86%||9|
|61.22%||29||Opp. Pass %||59.14%||24|
Against the Spread
Bengals ATS at Home: 5-2
Ravens ATS Away: 6-3
Bengals ATS as Favorite: 9-4
Ravens ATS as Underdog: 3-1-1
This is the rubber match between these teams. The Ravens beat the Bengals 19-17 at home back in Week 5 while the Bengals just defeated Baltimore a week ago 27-16 in the season finale.
The Bengals are the hottest team in the AFC, winning their final eight games of the regular season. Over that span, they are fifth in the league in points per drive (2.47) and ninth in yards per play (5.6).
The Ravens hit the postseason moving in the opposite direction, losing three of their final four games of the season.
Baltimore is sporting one of the league’s worst scoring offenses over the back half of the season. Since their Week 10 bye, the Ravens have scored a touchdown on just 9.4% of their drives, which is 31st in the league over that span. Only the Jets (9.0%) were worse. During that period, Baltimore averaged 1.35 points per drive, 29th in the league.
That sample includes two full games with Lamar Jackson as well. Jackson has not played since Week 13 and for the second straight season, this offense has been exposed for the lack of talent and creativity with him off of the field. Jackson was not playing his best football prior to injury, but this offense still can only go as far he can take them since there is a clear deficiency of talent on the offensive side of this roster.
If Jackson does not play, it is hard to see the Ravens being able to score enough points to push the Bengals while even if Jackson does play, he hasn’t played since Week 13 and we should not expect him to just return with ceiling expectations, more just giving the Ravens a better chance in a low probability spot to pull off an upset.
On the positive end for the Ravens, their defense does have talent. Since Week 9, the Ravens have allowed a touchdown on 11.0% of opponent drives, the lowest rate in the league. They have allowed 1.37 points per drive (second) and 4.8 yards per play (sixth) over that span.
The Ravens have not been challenged heavily by offenses over that span (Saints, Panthers, Jaguars, Broncos, Steelers twice, Cleveland, Atlanta, and the Bengals) but in both outings against the Bengals they have held their own. The Bengals averaged 4.9 yards per play in Week 5 (24th in the league that week) and 4.0 yards per play last week (29th). Against everyone else, the Bengals have averaged 5.6 yards per play on offense.