This game could go a long way in determining where both teams go the rest of the season. For the Baltimore Ravens, it’s a matter of survival at this point, a loss here would be the third in a row to a division foe (four overall) and drop the Ravens to 3-6, meaning they would likely have to run the table to make it back to the postseason. For the Cincinnati Bengals, a win keeps them ahead in the AFC North, and at 7-3, would keep the Bengals in the race for a possible No. 2 seed in the AFC playoffs. Let’s take a look at a few ways this game could go.
The first and maybe most depressing would be the classic “It is what it is game” in which the Bengals show how good they are while the Ravens show that they truly stink this season. I hope this scenario doesn’t play out, but I do struggle to find any DB on the Ravens who can cover A.J. Green.
Another possible scenario I see is a good ole shootout. Like I said before, I think Green will have a monster game. For the Ravens and Joe Flacco, there should be more time in the pocket with the loss of Geno Atkins. The Bengals’ defense is solid, but they have a susceptible secondary that could be taken advantage of by Flacco and Torrey Smith.
The last one I thought of would be the “Conspiracy Theory Game.” It seems like the Ravens are the victim of one of these every year, in which one or a few bad (really bad) calls go against them — calls that change the course of the game. The angry fans then yell in rage, “The league hates us! They’re out to get the Ravens!”
All the scenarios I mentioned are certainly possible, but I see this game as a “Michael Keaton: Let’s get nuts” game. What exactly is that, you ask? I wrote an article earlier in the week explaining what it is, you can find the link below. Just as a small hint, it involves desperation and having your back to the wall. I say the desperate Ravens will keep their season alive in front of the home crowd in M&T Bank Stadium.
Ravens 34 — Bengals 27
Read more from Dan Abeshouse here