Cincy on my mind

September 17, 2010 | Paul Hoke

The Baltimore Ravens (1-0) head to the Queen City this weekend to play the 0-1 Cincinnati Bengals.  And I may be in the minority, but this game concerns me.

Look, I think the Ravens are one of the best teams in the NFL this season, and maybe a Super Bowl favorite.  But the Bengals are the team that the Ravens just don’t match up well against.  They have two big play receivers in Chad (I just can’t bear to call him Ocho Cinco, mostly because Ocho Cinco doesn’t mean 85 in Spanish) and Terrell Owens, as well as my favorite player from the 2010 NFL draft, Jermaine Gresham.  The Ravens secondary, while I think they are talented and fast, does not match up well with these guys.  That being said, it’s going to come down to the Ravens ability to rush Carson Palmer, and stop the running game that centers around Cedric Benson.  I think the Purple Birds can stop Benson.  Their defensive line, thanks to Cory Redding, is stronger then it was a year ago, which will neutralize the Bengal offensive unit and control Benson.  This, in turn, will allow Terrell Suggs to rush Palmer, and cause confusion that will result in 2 picks, and a lot of incomplete passes.

The Raven offense will center around Ray Rice, and he will have his 2010 breakout game and lead the Ravens to a 31-24 victory.  This of course, is wishful thinking on my part, as I think the Ravens will lose their first game this season.  But in the game that is the NFL, no one can honestly predict what is going to happen. I hope the Ravens go into the Queen City and steal one from the Bengals, but I’m not sure it’s going to happen that way.

In any event…GO RAVENS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Let’s start 2-0 baby.