Baltimore Ravens defensive tackle Justin ‘Mad Dog’ Madubuike said yesterday that his team’s upcoming matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals is “going to be a bloodbath,” according to the Ravens’ Twitter account.
Madubuike’s comments come after a week of confident press conferences by the Bengals, featuring longtime Baltimore nemesis Tyler Boyd telling media that “it’s time to flip the script” against the Ravens.
The Ravens’ second-year defensive tackle referenced Boyd’s comments during yesterday’s press conference, saying, “There’s definitely more hostility in the air. I heard they’re talking about what they’re going to do, and this and that.”
Madubuike then revealed how he and the Ravens would respond: “We’re just going to talk with our pads and our helmets. That’s how we roll over here.”
The former Texas A&M Aggie was predicted to be a breakout player in Baltimore this season, but has not quite lived up to that billing, recording only one sack and five total quarterback pressures, per Pro Football Focus. He’ll look to get back on track against a Cincinnati offensive line that has given up 16 sacks this season, tied with the Ravens themselves for ninth-most in the NFL.
Madubuike finished his press conference by proclaiming, “It’s going to be a bloodbath, for sure. And we’re ready for it, so it’s going to be fun.”
Bengals Threatening Ravens in AFC North
While the Pittsburgh Steelers have been Baltimore’s main rival since their inception in 1996, the ascendant Bengals, led by quarterback Joe Burrow, are the Ravens’ closest challenger in the AFC North this season.
Though the Ravens have won all of their matchups with the Bengals since Lamar Jackson took over the starting quarterback job in 2018, they have yet to face the current iteration of the Bengals, with a vastly-improved defense and Burrow amid a sophomore year leap.
But Burrow likely has sore memories of his first game in Baltimore, when he was sacked seven times during an onslaught of blitzes from Ravens defensive coordinator Don ‘Wink’ Martindale.
Though it’s just Week 7, this game could have large implications for both teams’ playoff hopes.
The Ravens currently lead the division with five wins and one loss, with the Bengals just one game behind. A win on Sunday could give the Ravens a two-game cushion, while a loss would see the Bengals move into first place.
Ravens Fans Recall Past Matchups
Anticipation for the division showdown has many fans sharing their favorite highlights from previous Baltimore victories over Cincinnati.
Back in 2012, the Ravens kicked off their Super Bowl run by crushing the Bengals in Week 1, 44-13, with quarterback Joe Flacco launching a deep ball to wide receiver Torrey Smith to set up a 46-yard field goal by Justin Tucker.
Another beloved highlight is this intentional safety taken by longtime Ravens punter Sam Koch, a special teams tactic first used by Baltimore in the fourth quarter of Super Bowl XLVII to seal the franchise’s second championship.
Recent matchups have provided Ravens fans with even more ammunition to claim superiority over their division rivals.
Lamar Jackson made the signature play of his 2019 MVP season against the then-winless Bengals in Week 9, earning a memorable comparison to legendary magician Harry Houdini in the process.
While Jackson would certainly love to break off another touchdown run on Sunday, he’ll be more focused on securing a sixth straight win for his team.