NFL Week 18: Baltimore Ravens at Cincinnati Bengals Game Preview

Cincinatti Bengals
"Cincinnati Bengal" by San Diego Shooter is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

The Baltimore Ravens are set to travel to Paycor Stadium to take on the Cincinnati Bengals in a week eighteen divisional matchup. The Ravens come into the game with a record of 10-6 and currently sit in second place in the AFC North. On the flip side, the Bengals enter the contest with a record of 11-4 and hold a one and a half game lead over the Ravens. With the Bengals’ game against the Bills being postponed, there is still a chance that Baltimore could steal the division, however, they would have to beat the Bengals and hope that the Bills also beat them. With there possibly being a division title on the line, both teams will be playing at their best and pulling no punches. However, both teams have already clinched a playoff spot, meaning their spots in the postseason are safe regardless of the outcome. 

Baltimore Ravens Look to Bounceback AfterTough Stretch Without Lamar Jackson

The Baltimore Ravens are coming off of a very tough loss against the Pittsburgh Steelers last week, losing by a final score of 16-13. Once again Taylor Huntley was starting under center for the Ravens. While he is a talented backup, there is an obvious dropoff when comparing him to Lamar Jackson. Jackson’s status for this game is still up in the air. If the Bengals end up finishing their game against the Bills before they play the Ravens, Jackson will likely play if the Bills win and sit if the Bengals win. If the Ravens do not have a chance of winning the division, there is not any real reason to risk a reinjury from Jackson this close to the playoffs. They have shown this season that they cannot win without him.

It will be very difficult to take down the Bengals without Jackson on the field, and without him, the Ravens stand little to no chance of stealing a win unless Cincinnati rests their starters as well. 

Cincinnati Bengals Hope to Take Care of Business After Tragic Game Against Buffalo Bills

The Cincinnati Bengals were a part of one of the most horrific games of NFL history. In the first quarter, Bills’ safety Damar Hamlin made what appeared to be a routine tackle on Tee Higgins. However, appeared to suffer contact to the chest that caused him to collapse seconds after standing up following the tackle. Hamlin was administered CPR on the field and was transported to the same hospital where Tua Tungaviola was taken following his injury against the Bengals.

The Bengals were up 7-3 prior to this chilling play. It is unknown how the NFL will handle the rescheduling of this game and what it will mean for Cincinnati’s game against the Ravens. 

If the Bengals are able to finish and win their game against the Bills and come out with a win, there is not really any real need to play their starters against Baltimore. However, if they do lose to the Bills’ they should not have much trouble taking care of the Ravens if Jackson does not suit up.