At 1:00PM EST the Baltimore Ravens will take the field and attempt to make Ravens Nation forget about the 2013 NFL Season. Only one year removed from being the Super Bowl Champions, the Baltimore Ravens will have their hands full against their division foe, the Cincinnati Bengals.
The game will be hosted by Ravens and the Bengals will have to endure over 70,000 ruthless fans who will cheering on the Ravens to rekindle the magic that earned the franchise it’s second Lombardi Trophy only two seasons ago. It’s well known that the Ravens will be without one of the most dangerous offensive weapons in the game, Ray Rice, who was suspended and under a lot of criticism after a domestic dispute during the offseason. But that was then, now we have a football game to be concerned with. The Ravens are only favored by 1.5 points in this game, which has all the criteria for an intense, hard-hitting match-up to start the season. For more spreads and betting information click here for the best odds from Sportbet.com. Both teams are playoff contenders and will be looking to start the season with a win.
Two years ago was when Flacco took the next step to be considered an elite QB, however, last year his contract was questioned and he was quickly written off the list of elite QB’s. In the offseason the Ravens made sure to retain their homerun threat, WR Jacoby Jones, and also added Steve Smith Sr., who will hopefully replace the role that was occupied by Anquan Boldin two years ago. Also coming off a bad year and ready to play with a chip on his shoulder is RB Bernard Pierce. We aren’t expecting Pierce to be a game changer, but we expect him to be serviceable and able to carry the load as the team’s starting RB.
Ravens win in a low scoring affair – 21-17.
What everyone else is saying:
Because it’s in Baltimore, the Bengals get the short-end of the stick from me. Ravens win, 24-20.
Bengals 24, Ravens 21
In the end, Baltimore squeaks by with a win that comes down to the final minutes of the game that sees the defense stop Cincinnati on fourth down to seal the victory.
Prediction: Baltimore 23, Cincinnati 20
In recent years this rivalry has become one of the more entertaining rivalries in the NFL. The two teams are division foes and nothing will ever come easy. The Ravens will need to show their mental toughness and be able to grind it out for a full 60 minutes if they want to win.