Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 11/17/11

Who would have thought that at this point in the season the premiere match-up of the week would be the Baltimore Ravens (6-3) against the Cincinnati Bengals (6-3)? Both teams are tied for second place in the AFC North, and with the Steelers looking like they are back to their winning ways, this game could have playoff like implications.

Cincinnati has easily been the surprise of the NFL season thus far. With a rookie quarterback under center, a rookie wide receiver as the go-to man, and the loss of future hall of famer Chad Ochocinco, many people wrote the Bengals off before the season even started.

Rookie quarterback Andy Dalton has made a strong case that he deserves to be the Offensive Rookie of the Year, and more importantly, he has shown the league that the Bengals are for real. A.J. Green has 635-yards on the season with 6 touchdowns and has easily been Dalton’s favorite target. Green also leads all rookies in receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns.

Two of the Bengals three losses came against teams that are division leaders. Last week, Cincinnati put up a fight against the Pittsburgh Steelers, but lost the game 24-17, as Rashard Mendehall scored from 9-yards out with fewer than 2 minutes remaining. Cincinnati lost 13-8 in week 3 against the 49ers in a game that went down to the final minutes. Cincinnati is a team that is blossoming a lot sooner than people thought, and they are only going to get scarier from here on out.

Baltimore is coming off of an unexpected loss to the Seattle Seahawks, and are looking to get back on track before it is too late. Baltimore has struggled offensively throughout the season and last week against Seattle was no different. Ray Rice was basically a non-factor on the ground as he only ran the ball 5 times. Joe Flacco had 52 pass attempts and was only able to throw 1 touchdown against a mediocre Seattle defense.

Baltimore is undefeated at home this season (4-0) having beat the Steelers, Cardinals, Jets, and Texans. Unfortunately for the Ravens, the Bengals rank amongst the top ten in opposing passing yards per game and opposing rushing yards per game, so if they are trying to get their offense back on track it might not happen this week.

The Ravens coaching staff needs to find a way to get Ray Rice involved as much as possible this week . They have shied away from Rice throughout the season, but hopefully this week during practice they realized that they cannot win games unless Rice is heavily involved. If Rice gets going on the ground early look for the Ravens to come out on top, if Flacco throws more than 40 passes look for the Bengals to get the victory.

MATCH-UP TO WATCH:  Andy Dalton vs. Ravens Defense

It will be interesting to see how the young quarterback handles the monstrous Ravens defense. Will the Ravens defense expose Andy Dalton and make him look like a rookie or will Dalton brush off the Ravens defense? This match-up will be very intriguing.

Prediction:

Ravens 17

Bengals 27

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

WATCH: Bubba Watson's caddie owns heckler at PGA Championship

NFL denies sending Donald Trump letter about schedule

Michael Bennett calls out NFL stars for not speaking up on social matters

Nationals make astute move in acquiring Melancon

Son of former NFL player Antonio Armstrong charged with death of parents

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

U.S. Senator “appalled” by Bettman’s stance on concussions

Team USA’s Opening Ceremony uniforms look a little treasonous

Lawyer who reps concussion lawsuit wants to speak with Bettman

Tyler Eifert says he will never play in the Pro Bowl again

Australian athletes evacuate the Olympic village after fire

Russian weightlifting team banned from Rio

Texans GM 'disappointed' in DeAndre Hopkins

Can Andre Johnson end his regression in Tennessee?

Favre opens up about painkiller addiction during career

Miami women’s basketball coach criticizes Texas A&M following slideshow

Twin Cities preparing for influx of sex trafficking during Super Bowl LII

WATCH: Bautista bat flip will be available as NHL 17 celebration

Former USMNT, current MLS forward Davies battled cancer, in remission

The definitive guide to U.S. Men's Basketball at Rio 2016

Tony Romo training camp picture leads to fat jokes, concern

Matt Cullen’s family eats cereal out of the Stanley Cup

Texas A&M suspends coaches for sexist slideshow

10 most dangerous college football defenders in 2016

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Dr. Phil calls out the Patriots for their cheating ways

Everything that's already gone wrong at the Rio Olympics

Amar'e Stoudemire's presence (and absence) changed the NBA

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker