The Baltimore Ravens (3-5) will take on AFC North leader Cincinnati Bengals (6-3) for the first time this season. The two teams will face off Sunday, November 10, at 1:00 ET on CBS at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland.
After losing three consecutive games, two of which were divisional matchups, the Ravens are looking to take down the Bengals to help their chances of making it to the postseason. But the Bengals will not be an easy team to defeat.
Here’s a look at a few things the Ravens have to do to break their losing streak.
Watch out for Giovani Bernard
Bengals’ rookie running back Giovani Bernard has been dominant for Cincinnati, especially in Week 9 against the Miami Dolphins. Bernard wove through the Dolphins’ defense for an impressive 35-yard touchdown.
BenJarvis Green-Ellis will still be the Bengals go-to running back, but the Ravens need to keep an eye on Bernard when he is on the field. He’s versatile and could prove to be more dangerous to the Ravens than any other running back they have faced this season.
Improve the run game
It’s hard to believe that midway through the Ravens’ season, the team is still struggling at the running back position. The typically dominant force led by Ray Rice has been the Achilles’ heel of the team’s offense this season.
The Ravens need to get the ground game back in action this week against the Bengals, especially while the team is without a key player on defense. Two-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Geno Atkins is out for the season after suffering from an ACL tear last week against the Dolphins.
Protect the quarterback
The Ravens’ offensive line has been one of the worst aspects of the team’s play this year, aside from the running game. While quarterback Joe Flacco has been able to get out of trouble when the pocket collapses, he can’t do that every time. The offensive line will have to stand strong and protect the quarterback against the division rival.
Bengals defensive ends Carlos Dunlap and Wallace Gilberry currently lead the team’s active roster in sacks with four each. Atkins had six sacks prior to his season ending injury. Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict is tied for first in the NFL for most tackles with 90 tackles through nine weeks, so there is no doubt that the Bengals are capable of getting to Flacco on Sunday.