The Baltimore Ravens are riding two five-game win streaks heading into Week 7, one against their 2021 opponents and the second against their opponent on Sunday, the Cincinnati Bengals.
The Ravens have outscored the Bengals 161-57 in those last five meetings, the first of which was the first NFL start for Baltimore’s star quarterback, Lamar Jackson.
But Cincinnati will come into the game with a revamped roster and a newfound determination to take down their AFC North rivals.
“It’s time to flip the script. It’s time to take over the throne,” said Bengals wide receiver Tyler Boyd yesterday.
Boyd has been a thorn in the Ravens’ side in seasons past, most notably on New Year’s Eve in 2017, when the veteran receiver caught a game-winning touchdown to keep Baltimore out of the playoffs.
Ravens’ defensive coordinator Don ‘Wink’ Martindale hasn’t forgotten that heartbreaking game, referencing Boyd during a press conference yesterday.
“Don’t forget about 83. We always know where 83 is,” said Martindale, per Fox Baltimore’s Morgan Adsit.
Boyd been less effective in the last two years, only recording 14 catches for 115 yards and zero touchdowns in four games across the 2019 and 2020 seasons.
The sixth-year wideout believes the Bengals have what it takes to be the “top dogs in the division,” and said the team is “headed in that direction.”
Bengals WRs to Test Ravens Secondary
Chase is an early frontrunner for Offensive Rookie of the Year, with 553 yards and five touchdowns through just six games. His chemistry with quarterback Joe Burrow has elevated the Bengals’ offense, with the LSU teammates connecting on a league-leading four touchdowns of 30 yards or more this season.
Martindale praised Chase’s unique talents on Thursday, “If he came out of a lab, he’s somewhere a mix of DeSean Jackson and Odell [Beckham],” according to Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic.
Chase’s red-hot start to his NFL career has many observers hyping up his matchup with Ravens All-Pro cornerback Marlon Humphrey on Sunday.
Humphrey acknowledged the challenged posed by Chase, telling media yesterday, “Chase has added a lot of juice to the offense. He’s made the NFL look really easy,” per Zrebiec.
Can the Bengals’ D Slow Down Lamar?
The contributions from Chase, Boyd and the rest of the Bengals’ offense could be moot if their defense can’t do anything to slow down Lamar Jackson.
Jackson is undefeated against the Bengals in his career, with 1,344 yards and 10 touchdowns in his five starts.
He also made the signature play of his 2019 MVP season in Cincinnati, a 47-yard touchdown run that left several Bengals defenders grasping at air as Jackson juked, spun and ran by them.
Despite the tough matchup against the Ravens’ firing-on-all-cylinders offense, Bengals safety Vonn Bell says his defense is “oozing with confidence” heading into Sunday’s game.
With Jackson throwing the ball better than ever this season, Bell and the Cincinnati secondary will have to be on their game to leave Baltimore with the division lead.