Popo: Bengals-Ravens: Just the Facts

BALTIMORE - Here's some tidbits to ponder as we get ready for the Bengals-Ravens kickoff at 1p.m.:

POWER POINT:  The latest power rankings compiled by the Associated Press has the Bengals ranked eighth in the entire NFL.  The Ravens are 21st.

CLOSE CALLS: The last four losses for the Ravens have come by a grand total of 14 points. So they've been close in every game

FIRST HALF WOES: The Ravens have been outscored 92-63 in the first half

LOOK OUT! The Ravens never give up. They have outscored their opponents 71-36 in the fourth quarter this season.

NOT THIS YEAR: The AFC Central is having a down year. Only the Bengals possess a winning record at this stage. Very unusual. The AFC North has sent 11 teams to the playoffs over the last five years. Three teams got there in 2012.

DONE STREAKING? The Ravens are trying to reach the playoffs for the sixth straight season

ONE DIMENSIONAL: The Ravens average less than 72 yards per game on the ground. That's 29th in the NFL.

THE SERIES: Overall, the Ravens lead this Cincinnati-Baltimore series 19-15, but Cincinnati has a slight advantage recently.   The Bengals have won seven of the last 13 meetings, and 11 of the last 20.

LAST YEAR: The Bengals opened and closed the season against the Ravens in 2012.  Baltimore won at home 44-13, a terrible performance for the Bengals.  Cincinnati won the season finale at PBS 23-17.

TODAY: I like the Bengals by a touchdown.

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