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Ravens look to avoid major upset in Cincinnati against 0-8 Bengals

Ravens look to avoid major upset in Cincinnati against 0-8 Bengals

Ravens coach John Harbaugh won’t let anyone in Baltimore overlook the Bengals this Sunday. 

The Ravens are fresh off perhaps the most impressive win of the NFL season thus far, a 17-point win over the Patriots on Sunday Night Football and are now 6-2 and firmly in the driver’s seat in the AFC North.

This week, however, is a complete reversal of last week, a win over the formerly 8-0 Patriots at home. Now, the 0-8 Bengals are on deck at with a rookie starting quarterback. 

Baltimore will see if it can avoid a major upset on Sunday in Cincinnati at Paul Brown Stadium. Kickoff is at 1p.m.

“You want to make a big win matter?” Harbaugh asked. “Then you have to follow it up with a win. If you follow it up with a loss, you've just negated the win. You might as well not have won the game. So, we don't want to throw that away.”

On paper, the matchup is about as one-sided as possible in the NFL. 

The Bengals rank 32nd in total defense, yards per play and rushing yards and aren’t much better offensively. They are 25th in total offense and are 29th in yards per play and points per game. 

On the other side, the Ravens are second in total offense, fifth in yards per play and first in rushing yards. 

Then again, that’s on paper.

“What would last week’s win mean if we go out there and just lay an egg?,” Jimmy Smith asked. “Nobody wants to do that. It doesn’t take any extra motivation to want to go out and win a game. We know what we’re here for. It’s only better if we win. We don’t want to lose. That sucks.”

With Lamar Jackson at quarterback, who is gaining MVP traction throughout the league, the Bengals defense is in some trouble. 

The last time the two played, a 23-17 victory for the Ravens on Oct. 13, Jackson ran for 152 yards and threw for 236 more in a game that wasn’t as close as the score would indicate.

But a major difference from last game is that Ryan Finley, not Andy Dalton, will be making his first NFL start.

“He’s going to represent some challenges, because obviously, if they’re letting him play in front of Dalton — and we know the kinds of problems that Andy has given us and the type of quarterback he is — it’s going to be a great challenge,” defensive coordinator Don Martindale said. “We’ve watched college tape on him. We’ve watched preseason tape on him.”

Finley, an NC State product, is looking to give the Bengals a spark on offense that hasn’t been there for a majority of the season.

“Well, experience is going to help with all the times I've faced rookies, but you just can't go in thinking like, ‘Oh, this is what it is,’” Earl Thomas said. “You just have to go play the game. You have to play the gameplan we came up with. Trust the calls, whether it be a pressure or man coverage or anything.”

Cincinnati won’t have wideout A.J. Green, however, meaning the Ravens won’t have to worry about one of the NFL’s best wideouts burning them. 

Especially without Green, facing a rookie quarterback against a winless team, the margin for error for the Ravens isn’t much. 

But a win would only further the Ravens status as one of the NFL’s best.

“I feel like we're very, very focused,” Martindale said. “We understand. We'll see what happens once we get out there, but I feel like we're going to go out there and challenge. And we're going to try to dominate, as well.”

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Ravens at Bills Week 14: Date, time, TV channel, live stream, how to watch

Ravens at Bills Week 14: Date, time, TV channel, live stream, how to watch

The Baltimore Ravens (10-2) are heading north to take on the Buffalo Bills (9-3) in a Week 14 AFC Showdown that will likely have the energy of a playoff game.

The Ravens are coming off a buzzer-beater 20-17 win against the San Francisco 49ers that pushed their win streak to a franchise-record eight games. Leading the way for the Ravens is Lamar Jackson, who has cemented his MVP candidacy during a season in which he has taken the league by storm.

The Bills are coming off three wins of their own, most recently a 26-15 stomping of the Dallas Cowboys. Despite the impressive 9-3 record, the Bills' only win against a .500 or better team came on Thanksgiving Day against the then 6-5 Cowboys.

Here's what you should know about the game:

RAVENS at BILLS WEEK 14:

What: Week 14 of the NFL regular season

Who: Baltimore Ravens vs. Buffalo Bills

Where: New Era Field, Orchard Park, NY

When: Sunday, Dec. 8, at 1:00 p.m.

TV Channel: CBS

Live Stream: Stream on FuboTV 

Radio: WBAL New Radio 1090, 98Rock and 101.5 FM

Spread: Ravens, -5.5

Over/Under: 43.5

Weather: 44 degrees, mostly cloudy

RAVENS 2019 REGULAR SEASON SCHEDULE:

Week 1: Sun., 9/8 at Dolphins, 1:00 p.m. (W, 59-10)

Week 2: Sun., 9/15 vs. Cardinals, 1:00 p.m. (W, 23-17)

Week 3: Sun., 9/22 at Chiefs. 1:00 p.m. (L, 33-28)

Week 4: Sun., 9/29 vs. Browns, 1:00 p.m. (L, 40-25)

Week 5: Sun., 10/6 at Steelers, 1:00 p.m. (W (OT), 26-23)

Week 6: Sun., 10/13 vs. Bengals, 1:00 p.m. (W, 23-17)

Week 7: Sun., 10/20 at Seahawks, 4:25 p.m. (W, 30-16)

Week 8: BYE week

Week 9: Sun., 11/3 vs. Patriots, 8:20 p.m. (W, 37-20)

Week 10:  Sun., 11/10 at Bengals, 1:00 p.m. (W, 49-13)

Week 11: Sun., 11/17 vs. Texans, 1:00 p.m. (W, 41-7)

Week 12: Mon., 11/25 at Rams, 8:15 p.m. (W, 45-6)

Week 13: Sun., 12/1 vs. 49ers, 1:00 p.m. (W, 20-17)

Week 14: Sun., 12/8 at Bills, 1:00 p.m.

Week 15: Thu., 12/12 vs. Jets, 8:20 p.m.

Week 16: Sun., 12/22 at Browns, 1:00 p.m.

Week 17: Sun., 12/29 vs. Steelers, 1:00 p.m.

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How Ed Reed pulled off one of the best plays that Bill Belichick has ever seen

How Ed Reed pulled off one of the best plays that Bill Belichick has ever seen

Bill Belichick has seen a lot of football. A lot.

The New England Patriots head coach certainly knows what he's talking about and he didn't hold back when talking about Baltimore Ravens legend Ed Reed.

On a segment for NFL 100, Reed and Belichick recalled one of the former safety's interception against Manning, a play that Belichick called "one of the greatest plays I've ever seen."

Just listen to how giddy Belichick got talking about the play. 

Reed said he purposefully misplayed a certain coverage so that when Manning watched the film to prepare for the next game, Reed could fake him out the next time.

Manning became an all-time great because of his cerebral approach to football, so it's no hyperbole to say more men have walked on the moon than have outsmarted Peyton Manning on the gridiron. Reed is one of the few players to do so and became a Hall of Famer for playing that way his whole career.

Reed knew the entire time where the ball was going and made Manning look foolish for making that throw.

That's the stuff of legends.

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