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  1. #1

    Ravens @ Bengals predictions.



    What a week can do. Considering how rudderless and buried the Ravens looked, that performance last week was akin to the last scene in Carrie.

    Or perhaps Frankenstein. Look, it's moving... It's alive! IT'S ALIVEEEE!!!

    Anyway.

    This is a tough game to predict because while both teams say they'll go out to win it, we don't know who is actually going to suit up and play a full game. There's also the factor that both sides, even if it's unlikely, will play each other again a week later - how much do you want to show your opponent? OTOH, these two clubs do know each other about as well as you can. It's going to be tough to really show anything which will catch either team out.

    One thing, though, the Ravens can't be caught scoreboard gazing - that may help.

    Also, can see this going two ways - the Ravens have been needing to clinch the division for a whole month before finally getting their hats, a letdown of sorts would make sense. That said, if the Ravens really did turn the corner (funnily enough, the last two SB champs entered the playoffs with a 2 game winning streak which included beating a New York team in week 16), I can see them dismantling a Bengals club who have little to play for.

    After all, last year, both teams in the finale had something to play for and the Ravens controlled the game from start to finish. This year, Cincy doesn't have anything to play for.

    Ravens are a momentum team with a rhythm QB. If they have any shot to take on the AFC (and I do think they have as much of a shot as anyone), momentum has to be kept going rather than trying to maintain it like Sisyphus.

    The Ravens have been written off all year long and they won't be favoured much, if at all, for the remainder of this season - backs against the wall without much in the way of expectation. Just how the Ravens seem to play best.

    Baltimore 23, Cincinnati 14.




  2. #2

    Re: Ravens @ Bengals predictions.

    I think the Ravens go the smart route and rest as many injured players as possible, while Marvin Lewis treats this like the last game of his career.

    Bengals 26
    Ravens 17




  3. #3

    Re: Ravens @ Bengals predictions.

    I don't think Harbaugh rests players. I think he'll sit those who could benefit from a "bye" week, but otherwise he'll put the men on the field he thinks gives the Ravens the best chance to win. On both sides of the ball there are starters who need reps- they either weren't starting until recently, or the change in the playcalling/philosophy needs more time to gel. One game against a schizophrenic team isn't proof they've turned the corner offensively. If I were Harbaugh, I'd rather see it against that Cinci defense, at least for a half.

    Lewis and the Bengals literally have nothing to play for, unless they want to keep another meeting with the Ravens as far in the future as possible. That's not much. OTOH, that's a very young team, and if I were Lewis I don't know that I'd trust them to be able to handle shutting it down for a week and ginning it back up a week later. On yet a third hand, losing with their starters to the Ravens in the last week, and having to turn around and play them a week later would be difficult psychologically, too, unless the game is a real nailbiter (that is, they think they should have won it).

    Given I'm not either of those men, this one is too hard to predict. So I'll go the homer route and pick the Ravens, 24-20.




  4. #4
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    Re: Ravens @ Bengals predictions.

    Quote Originally Posted by bacchys View Post
    I don't think Harbaugh rests players. I think he'll sit those who could benefit from a "bye" week, but otherwise he'll put the men on the field he thinks gives the Ravens the best chance to win. On both sides of the ball there are starters who need reps- they either weren't starting until recently, or the change in the playcalling/philosophy needs more time to gel. One game against a schizophrenic team isn't proof they've turned the corner offensively. If I were Harbaugh, I'd rather see it against that Cinci defense, at least for a half.

    Lewis and the Bengals literally have nothing to play for, unless they want to keep another meeting with the Ravens as far in the future as possible. That's not much. OTOH, that's a very young team, and if I were Lewis I don't know that I'd trust them to be able to handle shutting it down for a week and ginning it back up a week later. On yet a third hand, losing with their starters to the Ravens in the last week, and having to turn around and play them a week later would be difficult psychologically, too, unless the game is a real nailbiter (that is, they think they should have won it).

    Given I'm not either of those men, this one is too hard to predict. So I'll go the homer route and pick the Ravens, 24-20.
    Really good thoughts there. I like the way you think. Great post.




  5. #5

    Re: Ravens @ Bengals predictions.

    Resting starters is silly. The playoffs are all about momentum and getting and staying hot. Sleepwalking into the playoffs doesn't seem compatible with that reality and history has proven that out.




  6. #6
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    Re: Ravens @ Bengals predictions.

    I think we'll see some defensive starters possibly sit but I think we'll see all hands on offense other than Bolden. I'm thinking Caldwell and Joe want to try different personnel groupings with Bolden resting and possibly work on tempo changes within the game (sugar huddle in the first half, regular subs in second half while maybe mixing snap counts throughout due to being on the road.)


    Bengals 20
    Ravens 17




  7. #7
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    Re: Ravens @ Bengals predictions.

    Quote Originally Posted by edgecrusher View Post
    Resting starters is silly. The playoffs are all about momentum and getting and staying hot. Sleepwalking into the playoffs doesn't seem compatible with that reality and history has proven that out.
    I think who is or isn't rested needs to be looked at on a case by case basis. For example, Yanda should get healthy. But I agree that resting starters for the sake of just resting them isn't a good idea.

    Ravens 20 Bengals 16




  8. #8
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    Re: Ravens @ Bengals predictions.

    If you date every SB champ back to 2000, almost every team didn't have any rests before the play offs. I honestly do believe that teams get rusty, even the teams with a first round bye, just look at us last year we almost lost to an underdog Texans team.

    It's all about momentum this time of the year. So I would play to win, and start everyone, with some exceptions.

    Rest Ray Rice. Anyone remember 2003? Yeah, hurts to think about it. Jamal Lewis was ran into the ground that year, we need Ray Rice fresh going into the play offs. We have a very good back up RB who could probably start for most teams in the league anyway. Pierce will be more than good enough to start in this one.

    Rest Ngata, Suggs, Reed and Yanda too. They are all playing hurt and need more rest for the play offs. I'd probably rest Boldin too.

    I think the Bengals go all guns blazing and get the win 30-25 Bengals.




  9. #9

    Re: Ravens @ Bengals predictions.

    Bengals 21
    Ravens 20

    Score seems close but it wasn't realy

    Ravens score 10 points in the 4th quarter but this was not a narrowly missed comeback or an epic final try

    Snoozefest for Week 17 I'm afraid

    And fans will be happy with no injuries




  10. #10

    Re: Ravens @ Bengals predictions.

    I think both teams end up playing the majority of their starters. Ravens might rest someone like Boldin and Reed. Ray Rice has another big day against Cinci and the Ravens win 24-14




  11. #11

    Re: Ravens @ Bengals predictions.

    I don't think Harbaugh rests many players either. After losing so many games at the end of the year, he wants to capitalize on the momentum they started last week. I see the Ravens winning this one solidly.

    Ravens 27
    Bengals 17




  12. #12
    Join Date
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    Re: Ravens @ Bengals predictions.

    Don't let up. Pound them. Offense needs more practice with the playcalling of JC. It needs to be ROAD tested!!! Which has not been yet.

    Put the NFL on notice. Take the T.O.P. and score often. Defense 3 and OUTS and pumble Dalton.

    NO SURRENDER!!




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