What: Bengals (3-6-1) at Ravens (5-5)
When: Sunday, 1 p.m.
Where: M&T Bank Stadium
OUT- G Alex Lewis (ankle), RB Lorenzo Taliaferro (thigh).
DOUBTFUL: TE Crockett Gillmore (thigh), CB Jimmy Smith (back).
QUESTIONABLE: OLB Elvis Dumervil (foot), DT Timmy Jernigan (shoulder), DT Brandon Williams (back/hand), G Marshal Yanda (shoulder).
OUT – WR A. J. Green (hamstring).
DOUBTFUL – TE C. J. Uzomah (calf), S Shawn Williams (hamstring).
QUESTIONABLE – LS Clark Harris (groin), S Derron Smith (thigh).
Five bold predictions and who will win:
1. Neither team will reach 20 points.
Without Green and running back Giovani Bernard, the Bengals are missing their top two pass catchers. The Ravens’ offense has struggled, and the Bengals’ defense has given the Ravens fits. Points will be precious.
2. Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco will throw two interceptions.
Flacco didn’t throw a pick against the Cowboys, but he has thrown more interceptions against the Bengals than any other team. He has almost as many interceptions (nine) as touchdown passes (10). The Bengals’ defense will hunt turnovers and is likely to get some.
3. Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton will run for at least 30 yards.
Dalton is capable of making plays with his legs, and I don’t see running back Jeremy Hill having much success against the Ravens’ defense. When Dalton has an opportunity to scramble for positive yards, he will take it, especially on third down.
4. Ravens rookie running back Kenneth Dixon will gain at least 50 yards.
The Bengals’ run defense isn’t what it usually is, and Dixon looks stronger every week. It wouldn’t be surprising to see Dixon become the Ravens’ lead running back late in the season, and this game could be the start of that transition.
5. The Ravens will commit five or fewer penalties.
That’s a bold prediction, considering how penalty prone the Ravens have been. Players are focused on cutting down on penalties again, after committing 12 against the Cowboys. It’s about time the Ravens played a cleaner game, and this should be it.
PREDICTION: This will be a defensive struggle, but I can’t see the Ravens losing at home to a Bengals team that looks vulnerable. The Bengals have won five straight over Baltimore, but at home, the Ravens will find a way.
Ravens 16, Bengals 9