Monday night football is always bittersweet, especially in the opening week of the season. We will sit and watch football all Sunday while the Ravens do the same. We will all impatiently await for them to step on the field, but will have to wait a whole extra day. Then Monday comes, and the whole world will watch them on the main stage.
This time around it will be a matchup of two 2011 playoff teams. Baltimore swept Cincy last year, but a year more of experience should help them cut the gap between the two teams. Andy Dalton and co. will come into the season with a lot of optimism, but Baltimore will look to crush it in the first contest.
The key to stopping the Bengals likely lies in slowing down rising star WR AJ Green. As a rookie last year, Green was everything the Bengals could have hoped for. He eclipsed 1000 yards with 7 scores and was a major cog in the passing game. Green didn’t play in the first loss against Baltimore, but was held in check in the second loss, hauling in just two catches. If Cincy wants any chance to win they will need to target Green early and often.
I’m very excited for the Ravens no huddle offense. They could see a huge offensive outburst if Flacco can operate well in the new scheme. Struggles are to be expected, but this should work out in the long run. With the Bengals young squad on the rise and Baltimore working on a new offense, this could be a close game. Still, I see Baltimore coming up on top in front of the home squad. I’ll take the Ravens 24 Bengals 13 to open the season.