A cool and drizzly day in Baltimore as the Ravens come home after two losses on the road. A few items to consider in the pregame:
1. Missing for the Ravens, two starters. Left tackle Eugene Monroe and defensive end Chris Canty won't play because of injury. Joe Flacco will also be without one of his targets, rookie wide receiver Breshad Perriman. James Hurst, who has practiced sparingly will start at left tackle, so keep an eye to see if the Bengals defense can exploit that side of the line.
2. Missing for the Bengals, Pat Sims. See if this affects the Bengals ability to plug the run.
3. Flattery will get you nowhere. Ravens Coach blubbered all over the Bengals potential this week. "I'll tell you, I do believe it is the most talented team in the league. I've seen that over the years."
4. Solid in September: In the past 11 years, the Bengals have a 22-13 record in September, easily their best month of the season. Marvin has always preached to get off to a fast start. Somebody was listening.
5. Do I hear four? The Bengals have won three straight games over the Ravens. They have never beaten Baltimore four in a row.
6. Eyes of the Beholder. I ran into a local yesterday who talked about the greatness of the late Art Modell, the former Baltimore owner. "He was the most loyal man I've ever known." He should ask somebody from Cleveland about Art's wonderful loyalty.
7. His second favorite team. Marvin Lewis was the Ravens defensive coordinator for six seasons. His 2000 team set a record for fewest points allowed in a season(165). You'll win a lot of games by giving up an average of 16 points a game.
8. Home Sweet Home. Under John Harbaugh, the Ravens are 45-11 at home, the second best record at home in the last seven years. Only the Patriots have been better in their home park.
9. The Bengals will win 27-24.
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