Ravens need help – win or lose – this Sunday in Cincy

December 27, 2013 | Drew Forrester

So, it all comes down to this.

Well, sort of.  The Ravens could win on Sunday in Cincinnati and still not make the playoffs.

And, oddly enough, the Ravens could lose on Sunday and still make the playoffs.

Talk about weird, huh?

There are lots of reasons why the Ravens pulling out a win on Sunday isn’t all that crazy of a thought.  This Ravens team has a 5-for-5 playoff run on the line.  In fact, a couple of years ago they went to Cincinnati with the AFC North crown on the line and beat the Bengals.  They’ve been there, done that, in the Queen City.

The Bengals are 7-0 at home this season.  That’s rare air for ANY team in the NFL.  Since 2008 – Harbaugh’s first year in the league – how many teams in the league have gone undefeated at home in the regular season?  That’s five seasons in the books, with 32 teams having the chance to go 8-0; 160 opportunities in total.  How many?  Try a total of SEVEN.  And, this season, the Bengals and Patriots are the only teams entering week 17 with a chance to make it eight or nine, as they’re the only teams left who are 7-0 at home.

Are the Bengals really THAT good?  They’re gonna go 8-0 at home?  Something only really, really good teams have accomplished since 2008.

Unfortunately, yes, they are.

Unless the Ravens can figure out a way to shut down A.J. Green, this isn’t going to end well for our purple feathered friends.

Yes, Jimmy Smith and the defense put the clamps on Calvin Johnson a couple of Monday’s ago.  True.  But that Lions team is a below .500 wanna-be.  This Bengals team is 10-5 for a reason.  They’re pretty decent, even if they only have a 3-5 road record.

Hate to say it, but I just can’t see the Ravens winning this one.

They’ll put up a fight, because games against AFC foes are rarely blow outs these days.  A fight, though, won’t get them in the post-season unless Miami and San Diego both lose.  By the way, don’t discount the possibility of that happening.  Those teams are both 8-7 for a reason.  It’s a coin flip – like it is for the Ravens – every Sunday with those two.

I’ll call this one 26-16 in favor of the Bengals.

And I’ll have more to say on the season as a whole next week, once the playoff dust settles this Sunday afternoon.

7 Comments For This Post

  1. Dan Says:

    Check me on this but I thought it was a raven’s win and a loss by either of the other two teams. (DF: It is. I didn’t say otherwise.)

  2. Steve from Sandpoint Says:

    I don’t see Cincy rolling over for this game, they will want to make a statement against the Raven’s. Earlier I said they will get spanked in Cincy & I still believe that. Drew, looking back didn’t you call an 8-8 season, I think you did. Caldwell I’m sure is a nice guy, but his offense stinks & he should be replaced after the Cincy game! R.I.P. Paul Blair !!!

  3. The Armchair QB Says:

    The Bengals get revenge for the loss in Baltimore earlier this year. They are a good team heading in the right direction. The Ravens, on the other hand, are not a very good team right now and are headed in the wrong direction. The Ravens need help alright, but more in the area of personnel and coaching going forward. An 8-8 season after all the roster moves and injuries is not terrible, but……with a little less tinkering of the OL and a lot more imagination in play calling, this coulda/shoulda/woulda been a better season! Taking nothing away from Justin Tucker’s remarkable season, but still don’t see anyone other than Joe Flacco as MVP. Without him, they may not have won a game this year…….

  4. Chris Says:

    Why is it always the OC with the ravens? First Cameron sucked and now Caldwell sucks (even after being essential in getting us to the Super Bowl). Maybe, just maybe it has to do with the talent on the field. Torrey Smith is a great #2 receiver but clearly not a #1. The offensive line has been a sieve…especially Oher and Gradkowski. Marlon brown is an undrafted free agent who has been too inconsistent this year (only because he’s a rookie and still figuring things out). There has been no 3rd down reliable receivers until Pitta came back. Finally even with a poor offensive line the running game is horrible. Ray rice has become average at best. All that being said, maybe the blame should be put on the people playing OR the man who puts the team together in the offseason.

  5. Dan Says:

    Yes you did, go back and read your blog

  6. Ralph Says:

    Drew, I think I am glad on your record of predictions and now you go against the Ravens so that helps our chances! Also, you must not be as good in golf as you brag because when I posted about being better than you, you didn’t take up the challenge. But onto the game. You can betray the Ravens all you want but mark my words we will win the game. And yes, I do have a new “researcher’ because no one is perfect. Keep up the good work and hope I am right and you are wrong and you regret backstabbing the team! (DF: How can I tell if you’re better than me at golf when I don’t know your name? Come on, dopey, you’re smarter than that. If you’d like to discuss golf with me, it’s best to do that by e-mailing me directly at drew@wnst.net. The rest of the readers don’t want to know about your fantasy of beating me.)

  7. tsnamm Says:

    The Ravens may have a chance depending on how hard the Bengals decide to play for seeding. I’m guessing they send out the statrters for the 1st half and then after that start sitting guys to prevent senseless injuries for the playoffs. From the Bengals perspective they would hope to be leading at the start 2nd half and try to coast to a win. Which should give the Ravens the oppourtunity to play against a mix of starters and 2nd string for most of the 2nd half. If that happens we should be able to pull out a win. I’m hoping anyway! Then there’s the old NFL saw…on any given Sunday.

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