The Baltimore Ravens will be playing their season opener on Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals at the M&T Bank Stadium at 1pm. The Ravens are hoping along with the fans that a home game will give them the boost that they need for a much-needed win.
The Bengals will be coming to Baltimore with a 2-0 record. The Ravens will be facing them with a 0-2 record. There is a lot of hostility between these two divisional teams. The Bengals have beaten the Ravens in the last three times they met. These stats were taken from the Baltimore Ravens website.
- 12/29/13 – played in Cincinnati 34 – 17
- 09/07/14 – played in Baltimore 23 – 16
- 10/26/14 – played in Cincinnati 27 – 24
The Ravens will definitely be trying not to make it four times in a row. According to Baltimoreravens.com, they will be matching up veteran cornerback Jimmy Smith with the Bengals star wide receiver A.J. Green. Smith was told when he was signed back in 2011 to cover Cincinnati Bengal’s A.J. Green. Green make a 68-yard touchdown during the September 7 game, which was the game-winning touchdown. Although Smith was not playing, the Ravens don’t want a repeat. In two regular season games, Green has recorded eight receptions for 108 yards.
I have seen Smith really mess up a receiver’s day by smacking the ball out of their hands or blocking their catch. Hopefully, Smith will do a better job in this game than he did with his match-up against Oakland Raiders’ rookie wide receiver Amari Cooper, who caught a 68-yard pass and literally outran Smith for a touchdown last Sunday.
The Ravens are not out of the contender’s race yet. They are just off to a rocky start with many of their key players out on injury. Sarah Ellison of Baltimoreravens.com, reported that the Ravens have the second best home winning percentage (.804) and have won eight out of nine of its home openers.
What the Ravens need is consistency. They are working with a rookie offensive line that needs to protect their quarterback better. The secondary needs to be able to engage a receiver all the time either in a tackle, interception or incomplete pass. They need to make more touchdowns when in the red zone. This season the Ravens have only two touchdowns in seven red-zone possessions which is the third-worst rate in the NFL, according to an article in the Baltimore Sun.
I think these two losses have shown the Ravens how vulnerable they can be. Maybe this smack in the face is what they need to come back strong.