The Baltimore Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals will face each other for the fourth time in less than a calendar year this Sunday, and the Ravens might be in the catbird’s seat as 3.5-point road underdogs considering they are a stellar 18-3-1 against the spread in their past 22 games as dogs. In addition, Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson is 8-4 outright in career as underdog. Only Jimmy Garoppolo has a better SU mark among quarterbacks as a dog since the merger.
Baltimore’s Week 1 win 25-9 win over Houston was costly as No. 1 running back JK Dobbins was lost to a season-ending torn Achilles tendon – the same injury that got Aaron Rodgers of the Jets on Monday night – and starting offensive linemen Ronnie Stanley and Tyler Linderbaum both also left injured.
The #RavensFlock are used to playing without Dobbins as since a breakout rookie 2020 season, he has been limited to a total of nine games – including missing all of 2021. A committee of Gus Edwards, Justice Hill and Melvin Gordon (promoted from practice squad) will replace him.
Stanley is one of the best left tackles in the business, but he’s always battling an injury and is expected to miss at least a week after suffering a sprained right knee in the win over Houston. Linderbaum suffered a sprained left ankle and also likely out Week 2. Patrick Mekari will likely start at left tackle, while Sam Mustipher takes on Linderbaum's center duties.
Safety Marcus Williams suffered a pectoral injury and could miss several weeks. It may not be a season-ending injury, however. The Ravens will turn to Geno Stone, who started seven games last season stepping in for Williams when he had a broken wrist.
Neither cornerback Marlon Humphrey nor Pro Bowl tight end Mark Andrews played in the opener, but both are trending early to return against the Bengals in an important division game. Baltimore’s Jackson is 6-1 as starter vs. Cincinnati but has missed three of the past five meetings including playoffs.
#RuleTheJungle looked horrific in a 24-3 loss in Cleveland in Week 1. Off signing the biggest contract in NFL history by average annual value, Joe Burrow had career-worsts in completion percentage (45%) and passing yards (82) in the loss. It was the fewest passing yards in the NFL on at least 30 attempts since Ryan Lindley in 2012.
The #Bengals were able to overcome a 0-2 start last year and reach the playoffs but no team has ever started 0-2 and reached postseason in back-to-back seasons.
Cincinnati is the first NFL team since the 2005 Jets to be favored in Week 2 coming off at least a 15-point loss against a team coming off at least a 15-point win.