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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey  

Sortable Player Projections | Game Predictions Summary | Projections by Team

NYJ at DEN (thu) * CIN at BAL PHI at NYG * TEN at ATL
* ARI at SF * DAL at WAS SD at CHI KC at NE (mon)
* BUF at MIA * JAC at CLE SEA at STL Bye Week

Prediction: CIN 13, BAL 27

Players to Watch: Joe Flacco

Update A.J. Green never practiced this week and is reported to have a bone bruise in addition to a hyper-extended knee. He is not expected to play this week and will be replaced by Andre Caldwell. This does not bode well for the Bengals though they catch a break with Ray Lewis out. That alone is hardly enough.

Big game in the AFC North with both teams sporting a 6-3 record but the Ravens are 4-0 at home and coming off a loss in Seattle. The Bengals are 4-1 on the road but none of those had a winning record. While the Ravens turn into ducks away from Baltimore, they always come to play at home.

Cincinnati Bengals
Homefield: Paul Brown Stadium
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 @CLE 27-17 10 PIT 17-24
2 @DEN 22-24 11 @BAL -
3 SF 8-13 12 CLE -
4 BUF 23-20 13 @PIT -
5 @JAC 30-20 14 HOU -
6 IND 27-17 15 @STL -
7 Bye - 16 ARI -
8 @SEA 34-12 17 BAL -
9 @TEN 24-17      
Bengals Report | Statistics | Roster
CINCINNATI at BAL Rush Catch Pass
QB Andy Dalton - - 170,1
RB Cedric Benson 60 - -
TE Jermaine Gresham - 20 -
WR A.J. Green - 70,1 -
WR Jerome Simpson - 40 -
WR Andre Caldwell - 20 -
PK Mike Nugent 2 FG 1 XP -
Pregame Notes: The Bengals fell to the Steelers in a must win game and now hit the road to Baltimore where it is unlikely to be any better. Two weeks later is in Pittsburgh and by then the Bengals may be struggling to remain above .500 but regardless - this team is a true upgrade to past seasons. And if the offense can pick up a top back in the draft next year, this will be an even bigger headache for the Ravens and Steelers who like status quo. Even if the Bengals get swept by both teams, they will make them work for it.

QUARTERBACK: Andy Dalton is heading into the toughest stretch of the schedule and while he lost to the visiting Steelers last week, he still passed for two touchdowns on his 170 yards. Dalton has been tossing multiple scores in four of the last five games but his yardage has always remained pretty much below 200 yards each week and most of that relies on what A. J. Green contributes. Dalton is eclipsed by Cam Newton but the Red Rifle in Cincy already has 17 passing touchdowns on the year against only nine interceptions.

The Ravens rank #1 against the position and have never allowed more than one passing score to any opponent this year. Figure this for a down week for Dalton who will do well enough to get the one touchdown. The Ravens really want this game.

RUNNING BACKS: No reason to linger here. Cedric Benson has plodded along this year with only two scores (thank you CLE and IND) and rarely more than 60 rush yards in any game. Going against the #2 defense against running backs that has held far better backs to marginal afternoons, consider Benson as a play for about 60 rush yards at best and even that will be tough to get. Not much upside here this week and it could easily end up worse.

WIDE RECEIVERS: A.J. Green hyper extended his right knee last week and it stiffened up on the sideline. He still had one score in the game on his only catch which leaves him with six touchdowns on the season and two efforts that topped 100 yards. Jerome Simpson contributes around 40 yards in most games and did score in each of the last two road games for his only touchdowns on the season. This week whatever gains are made by the Bengals are almost certain to come from this unit.

Assuming Green is healthy and can practice, he is still a decent play this week in a game where he should get 10 or so targets and the Ravens may let something happen if only in trash time. If not Green, then Simpson might score but Simpson never gets enough yardage to make his risk any less than his reward.

TIGHT ENDS: Jermaine Gresham has been meager on yardage with only around 20 yards in recent games but he has scored in three of the last four weeks. But Gresham goes against the #1 defense against the position and the Ravens have yet to let a tight end score. No reason to start Gresham this week.

Gaining Fantasy Points CIN 20 29 10 15 11 7
Preventing Fantasy Points BAL 1 2 12 1 5 28
Advantage +31 to -31 CIN -19 -27 2 -14 -6 21

Baltimore Ravens
Homefield: M&T Bank Stadium
Sport Turf
  Opp Score   Opp Score
1 PIT 35-7 10 @SEA 17-22
2 @TEN 13-26 11 CIN -
3 @STL 37-7 12 SF -
4 NYJ 34-17 13 @CLE -
5 Bye - 14 IND -
6 HOU 29-14 15 @SD -
7 @JAC 7-9 16 CLE -
8 ARI 30-27 17 @CIN -
9 @PIT 23-20   - -
Ravens Report | Statistics | Roster
BALTIMORE vs CIN Rush Catch Pass
QB Joe Flacco - - 260,1
RB Ray Rice 70,1 50 -
TE Ed Dickson - 20,1 -
WR Anquan Boldin - 100 -
WR Torrey Smith - 50 -
PK Billy Cundiff 2 FG 3 XP -

Pregame Notes: After beating the Steelers in Pittsburgh and sweeping them this year, the Ravens laid an egg in Seattle in a trap game sandwiched between two important divisional matchups. The Ravens have been far better at home where they have yet to score less than 29 points. A win this week raises the Ravens to the same record as the Steelers with the first tiebreaker of head-to-head.

I like a defensive score.

QUARTERBACK: No denying that Joe Flacco has been in a funk with only three touchdown passes over the last six games even though three of those went for over 300 passing yards. Flacco is stalling in the red zone and not managing to get the touchdown. And it is not as if Ray Rice is stealing them all either. Back at home Flacco is generally better, but the low scoring is no longer a trend - it is just who he is this year.

The Bengals are good against the pass so far though on the road they have allowed three teams to pass for two scores and those were hardly top teams. Consider they faced CLE, DEN, JAC, SEA and TEN and still gave up a total of seven touchdowns and decent yardage. But Flacco has been too unreliable to expect more than a moderate to good yardage game with just one score. It could happen here and it would be good for the Ravens but you cannot rely on it.

RUNNING BACKS: For the second time this year, the Ravens fell behind and OC Cam Cameron just abandoned the run. Ray Rice only carried five times for 27 yards in Seattle though he added eight catches for 54 yards to salvage his value. The good news is that those happen in road games and at home Rice has been very effective both as a runner and a receiver and six of his eight scores were in Baltimore.

The Bengals have been much better against the run this year and only one runner has topped 85 rush yards. But the Bengals also allowed eight rushing scores so expect a nice game here by Rice with one touchdown and a combined 100+ yards.

WIDE RECEIVERS: Here is an oddity. The Ravens wide receivers have only caught six touchdowns combined this season and all were in road games aside from one in the season opener against the Steelers. Anquan Boldin topped 100 yards in each of the last two home games but Torrey Smith has been more quiet when in Baltimore than when he is on the road. The Bengals have allowed four receivers to exceed 100 yards when on the road this year and Boldin should be able to take some advantage here. Look for good to big yardage this week for Boldin.

TIGHT ENDS: Ed Dickson turned in a freakish 10 catches for 79 yards and two scores in Seattle which dwarfed his normal fare of 40 yards and no touchdowns. He has a chance to score against this week as does Dennis Pita who has not scored. The Bengals rank higher against the position because they almost never meet a receiving tight end of note. Splitting the workload here hurts but one of these should end up with a score this week. I will credit Dickson but consider his yardage more than the score.

Gaining Fantasy Points BAL 21 10 24 12 5 4
Preventing Fantasy Points CIN 6 12 10 10 1 2
Advantage +31 to -31 BAL -15 2 -14 -2 -4 -2

NYJ at DEN (thu) CIN at BAL PHI at NYG TEN at ATL
ARI at SF DAL at WAS SD at CHI KC at NE (mon)
BUF at MIA JAC at CLE SEA at STL Bye Week

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