NFL Football

38
Final 1 2 3 4 Tot
Baltimore 10 7 21 0 38
Cincinnati 0 3 0 0 3
3
10:00 AM PT11:00 AM MT12:00 PM CT1:00 PM ET18:00 GMT2:00 11:00 AM MST1:00 PM EST12:00 PM CT22:00 UAE13:00 ET16:00 , January 3, 2021
Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, Ohio  Weather: 39°, Cloudy  Attendance: 10,499

Ravens-Bengals Preview

According to STATS
According to STATS

Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals

  1. The Ravens have won four straight meetings with the Bengals, including a 27-3 victory in Baltimore in Week 5. The Ravens allowed just 205 yards and three points in that game, both the fewest they've allowed in any game this season.
  2. The Ravens, who won 49-13 in Cincinnati last season, will qualify for the playoffs with a win over the Bengals. Baltimore, however, hasn't won in Cincinnati in consecutive seasons since winning three in a row from 1998 to 2000.
  3. The Ravens have won their last four games, scoring an NFL-high 37.0 points per game in the process. Baltimore has run the ball for 933 yards over the four games, the most in a four-game stretch since the Falcons ran for 937 yards in Weeks 1-4 in 2006.
  4. The Ravens are the first team in NFL history to have three players run for at least 600 yards and six touchdowns (Lamar Jackson -- 908 yds, 7 TD, Gus Edwards -- 663 yards, 6 TD, J.K. Dobbins -- 645 yards, 7 TD). Dobbins' seven rushing touchdowns are the most by a rookie in Ravens history.
  5. Cincinnati has won two straight games for the first time since victories in Weeks 4 and 5 of the 2018 season. The Bengals haven't won three straight games in a single season since starting 8-0 in the 2015 campaign.
  6. Three different Bengals quarterbacks have won at least one start this season (Joe Burrow, Ryan Finley, Brandon Allen), the second time in franchise history that three different quarterbacks have won a game for the Bengals in the same season (Ken Anderson, Boomer Esiason, Turk Schonert in 1984).
Team Comparison

Baltimore
 
Cincinnati
28.7 Points 20.5
186.5 Pass Yds 249.7
177.8 Rush Yds 101.4
20 Takeaways 16
(AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)

CINCINNATI (AP) Five weeks ago, the Baltimore Ravens figured they'd have to win out and get some help to reach the playoffs.

After tending to their own part of the equation with four straight victories and receiving the necessary assistance last weekend in the form of losses by Cleveland and Indianapolis, all that remains for the Ravens (10-5) is one more item of business: defeat Cincinnati in the regular-season finale this Sunday.

Getting into the postseason for the third year in a row is what's important. Who they play if they get there is irrelevant.

"All we can focus on is the next game. Not focus on the playoffs," Ravens tight end Mark Andrews said. "We're just trying to get better and win this game, and the cards will fall how they fall."

Baltimore was 5-1 before a skid that coincided with an outbreak of COVID-19 at its training facility sent the season off the rails. Four losses in five games - including three in a row before the current hot streak - can be forgotten with a victory at Cincinnati (4-10-1).

Ravens star Lamar Jackson needs 92 yards rushing to become the first quarterback in NFL history with two 1,000-yard seasons. At this juncture in the season, personal accomplishments are meaningless to the league's reigning MVP.

"Being honest, I just want to win Sunday and come out of the game healthy," Jackson said. "It doesn't really matter about any records being broken, or anything like that. I just want to win to get in the playoffs."

The Ravens have won their past three games against Cincinnati, their longtime AFC North foe. Baltimore beat the Bengals 27-3 in October before Cincinnati quarterback Joe Burrow's season ended with a knee injury that brought about the emergence of Brandon Allen, who shredded Houston last week by going 29 for 37 for 371 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions.

Cincinnati has nothing to gain except being the spoiler and ending a difficult season with a three-game winning streak.

After the Bengals went on the road to defeat the Texans 37-31, coach Zac Taylor said, "We're out of the playoff hunt. It's easy for guys to check out right now, and we haven't had a single player do it. Just proud to coach these guys."

MAINTAINING FOCUS

Following a 19-14 loss in Pittsburgh in which Jackson was sidelined with the coronavirus, Baltimore stood at 6-5 and in third place in the division. Ravens coach John Harbaugh kept spirits up with a calming directive that set the course for the rest of the season.

"I feel that coach did a great job during that time," safety Chuck Clark said. "We were all at home on Zoom waiting for the next thing. What would be next? What's the message? Where are we going from here? Coach did a good job of keeping us all grounded, knowing that we would all eventually overcome the situations that we had, and be able to get back out there and go win football games to be able to put ourselves in position."

ROOKIE SENSATION

Bengals receiver Tee Higgins is on the cusp of setting a team rookie record.

Higgins has 67 catches, tied with Cris Collinsworth for most by a Bengals rookie. He was selected out of Clemson with the first pick in the second round of this year's draft.

ROOKIE SENSATION II

Ravens rookie J.K. Dobbins has displaced Mark Ingram as the starting running back and is part of a three-tiered threat for a team that counts heavily on the run.

Jackson leads the way with 908 yards rushing, Gus Edwards has 663 and Dobbins checks in with 645 after being used sparingly early in the season.

Dobbins, a former star at Ohio State, has seven touchdowns, one in each of the past five games.

"As soon as they drafted me, my thought process was, `Let's go in here, let's get better, and I'm going to find a way to get on this field and help this team win as many games as possible - get us to a Super Bowl, if that's possible,'" he said. "And that's just what I've been doing."

HUMBLE BUT CONFIDENT

Allen is 1-3 as a starter this year, so he wasn't about to proclaim himself a star after tearing apart Houston's defense last weekend.

"I've had a couple bad games too," Allen said. "So I'll take this with a grain of salt and just keep trying to get better. But I always wake up on game day with the confidence that we're going to make all the plays we need to to win the game. And I always kind of feel like I'm going to make all the throws that I need to."

He will tested by a Baltimore defense that has had 11 sacks in the past two games.

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Updated December 31, 2020

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