What: Ravens (8-7) at Bengals (5-9-1)
When: Sunday, 1 p.m.
Where: Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati
OUT – ILB Zach Orr (neck, IR), CB Jimmy Smith (ankle, IR), RT Rick Wagner (concussion)
QUESTIONABLE – G Alex Lewis (ankle)
OUT – WR A. J. Green (hamstring), OT Cedric Ogbuehi (shoulder)
DOUBTFUL – LB Vontaze Burfict (knee/concussion), TE Tyler Kroft (knee/ankle)
QUESTIONABLE – RB Jeremy Hill (knee)
Five questions to ask:
1. Can the Ravens escape their last game without serious injuries?
Despite being eliminated from playoff contention, coach John Harbaugh said he would play starters and play to win. The Ravens have been relatively healthy this season. Hopefully it stays that way.
2. How will Ravens wide receiver Steve Smith Sr. end his brilliant 16-year career?
The Ravens want Smith’s last game to be special, and so does he. Look for plenty of targets to come his way. A perfect day for the Ravens would be big game for Smith, and a victory.
3. How many Ravens players and coaches will be somewhere else next season?
Defensive tackle Brandon Williams and Pro Bowl fullback Kyle Juszczyk are among the Ravens’ free agents-to-be. The Ravens could decide to part with veteran pass rusher Elvis Dumervil, who needs two sacks to reach 100 for his career. Will Marty Mornhinweg return as offensive coordinator? There is always turnover during an NFL offseason, and after missing the playoffs for the third time in four years, the Ravens will have tough decisions to make.
4. Can the Ravens snap their five-game road losing streak?
The Ravens’ inability to win on the road after September cost them a playoff spot. There is nothing wrong with setting a different tone for 2017 by winning this game.
5. Will the Ravens end their losing streak in Cincinnati?
The Ravens haven’t won in Cincinnati since 2011. Regardless of the circumstances, that is something they want to change.
Without Green, and probably Burfict, the Bengals are not as imposing as they would be at full strength, with something to play for. The emotion surrounding Smith Sr.’s farewell should be enough to carry the Ravens to victory.
Ravens 20, Bengals 16