Bengals Tailgate Report: Week 9

Bengals Tailgate Report: AFC North Showdown With Baltimore

11/6/09 in NFL   |   Aceraison   |   183 respect

Week 9 of the Bengals season features a big AFC North showdown with the Baltimore Ravens.  When the season started I had a feeling that the Ravens would be the team to beat in the AFC North.  They started off a ball of fire winning their first three games.  But they hit some hard luck soon after that.  While the Bengals were winning games in the last second the Ravens were losing some hard fought games.  In Week 4 they stalled their final drive in New England at the 14 yard line and lost by 6.  Week 5 was the first match against Cincinnati when Caldwell scored the winner with 22 seconds to go and Week 6 saw the Ravens miss a game winning field goal at the gun to Minnesota.  The Ravens went into the Week 7 bye week with a disappointing 3-3 record but they quickly got it together and laid a 30-7 beating on the previously undefeated Broncos in Week 8.

 

Joe Flacco has been having a great season for the Ravens completing 66% of his passes with 12 touchdowns, including at least one in each game this year.  Ray Rice has been running the ball effectively as well averaging 5.5 yards per carry.  But the Ravens are known primarily for their tough defense.  They have veteran All-Pro linebacker Ray Lewis leading the way with 60 tackles.  They also have veterans Terrell Suggs, Ed Reed and Fabian Washington leading the defense.

 

If there is any knock against the Ravens’ defense it could be that they are over aggressive at times.  On the Bengals final drive in their first meeting Ray Lewis was called for Unnecessary Roughness when he knocked Chad Ochocinco’s helmet clear off the field.  Four plays later Ed Reed was called for Pass Interference and that set up the game winning touchdown – a 20 yard pass from Carson Palmer to Andre Caldwell with 22 seconds to play.

 

Earlier in the game the Bengals offense was moving the ball pretty well against the Ravens but they made a couple big mistakes.  Palmer threw an interception to Reed who returned it for a touchdown and Chad fumbled after a long catch and run to end another drive.  The Bengals’ defense played big all day.  They held Flacco to 186 yards passing and Rice only had 69 yards rushing.  The Ravens only offensive touchdown came on a dump pass from Flacco to Rice who went 48 yards for the score after a few Bengals went for the big hit instead of the sure tackle.  The Ravens only entered the Red Zone one time and that drive ended when Jonathan Joseph intersected Flacco in the end zone.  Cedric Benson had a big day for Cincinnati running for 120 yards and was the first back to break 100 yards against the Ravens’ defense in 40 games.

 

The Ravens come into this weeks’ game as a 3 point favorite.  Surely this is because of the 30-7 win they had against the Broncos last week but the Bengals are coming in off a big win of their own.  Prior to last weeks bye the Bengals completely dominated the Chicago Bears in a 45-10 drumming.  The Bengals had last week off to rest up and get ready for this big matchup.  The Ravens surely will have no trouble getting fired up for a matchup with the division leading Bengals but just to make sure Chad Ochocinco sent a care package to the Ravens players this week.  Included was a pair of roll on deodorant bars for Ray Lewis and Terrell Suggs so they don’t sweat the game.  I have no doubt  there will be people all up in arms over Chad’s antics but I will point out that Chad is good friends with Ray so I’m sure this will all be taken with a grain of salt.  Chad has mentioned Ray as one of the people responsible for his turned around attitude this season.  With all of that I am going to take the Bengals in a close one until the end where the Bengals pull ahead 31-17.

 

This game makes for three straight home games (with a bye week in there) for the Bengals fans and the tailgate connoisseurs.  The weather has been great this season and it looks to be once again this week.  Sunday calls for a mix of clouds and sunshine with a high of 68.  Being this is a division game and the Ravens play here every year I expect to see a few Ravens fans wandering Longworth Hall but there is never an overwhelming number of them present.  For the few that will be there I will have some special songs blasting over the speakers just for you.  Anybody going to the game is more than welcome to stop by and get harassed.

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11/6/09   |   mgehr68   |   2 respect

The Bengals don't have a great record the past few years of winning games after a bye week.  That being said, this will be the week when the NFL audience comes to the realization this team is for real. This is the week they finally earn respect as a legitamite contender.