Ravens Hope To Stay Kings Of AFC North in 2012

The 2012 season for the Baltimore Ravens is set to kick off on ESPN’s Monday Night Football, and they’re going to be squaring off against the Cincinnati Bengals. It is a game in which the Ravens are 7-point favorites for those making NFL picks, and if history repeats itself, it will be a game in which they cover with ease.

Last year, there were only a grand total of two teams that ran the table in their division. One was the Green Bay Packers, who blew through the NFC North at 6-0 en route to their outstanding 15-1 regular season. The other was none other than these Ravens.

And how dominating they were!

Not only did Baltimore win all six of those games, but it went 4-1-1 ATS in those six clashes as well. The defense only allowed an average of 15.7 PPG, but it will be in for a test against the Bengals in its first game without DE Terrell Suggs, who might miss the majority of the season with an Achilles injury.

The star of the show in those six AFC North wins though, was clearly QB Joe Flacco. Flacco is in the midst of a contract dispute with the Ravens, as he is seeking a long-term deal that will keep him in Baltimore for potentially the rest of his career. Head Coach John Harbaugh knows that his signal caller really has played well in divisional games of late.

The former Delaware Blue Hen threw for 524 yards and four TDs without an interception against the Pittsburgh Steelers last year in two games. In total in these six victories, Flacco had nine TDs and just two picks. Against the rest of the NFL outside of his own division, he had just 11 TDs and nine INTs.

Cincinnati did hold Flacco down to just 400 total yards in two games last year, but the Bengals know that they are going to have their work cut out for them. If Flacco plays as well as he did against the rest of the AFC North last year though, the Ravens are clearly going to be on their way to a 1-0 start to the campaign.

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