The Bengals' coming out party was back in Week 7, when Cincinnati left Baltimore with a 41-17 victory. At 5-2, the Bengals were all alone atop the AFC North and were the top-seeded team in the entire AFC.
Cincinnati came crashing back to earth with consecutive losses, but rebounded to win three of its next five games to move back into first place in the NFL's tightest division race. The Ravens, who had spent the majority of the season in first place in the division, slipped to second place after dropping their third consecutive game last Sunday. But despite their recent skid, the Ravens can move back into first place in the North with a win over the Bengals this Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium. Conversely, a Bengals win would move them one step closer toward their first playoff berth since 2015.
We'll preview the game along with giving our prediction for Sunday's outcome. Here's how you can follow the action in real time.
How to watch
When the Ravens have the ball
With Lamar Jackson still dealing with an ankle injury, there's a good chance that second year quarterback Tyler Huntley will make his second consecutive start and third start of the season. In last Sunday's 31-30 loss to the Packers, Huntley tossed two touchdown passes and ran for two more. Of Huntley's 28 completions, 20 went to tight end Mark Andrews and receiver Marquise Brown, as injuries have severely limited the Ravens' skill positions.
After two subpar games against Los Angeles and San Francisco, the Bengals' defense rebounded by allowing just 10 points in last Sunday's win in Denver. The Bengals have playmakers in every level of their defense, led by Pro Bowl defensive end Trey Hendrickson (13 sacks), fellow defensive end Sam Hubbard (7.5 sacks), defense tackle Larry Ogunjobi (seven sacks), linebacker Logan Wilson (92 tackles and four interceptions), and safety Jessie Bates III. Along with having a formidable pass rush, the Bengals' defense has allowed the fourth-fewest rushing yards in the NFL.
When the Bengals have the ball
Streaky is the best way to describe the Bengals' offense. When they take care of the ball, the Bengals' offense is capable of taking over a game. While their offense line is still a piece or two away from being a top-tier unit, the Bengals possess formidable skill players in Joe Burrow, Pro Bowlers Joe Mixon and Ja'Marr Chase, receivers Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd, and tight end C.J. Uzomah. The front-runner for Offensive Rookie of the Year, Chase caught eight passes for 201 yards and a touchdown in Cincinnati's Week 7 win in Baltimore. With defenses more focused on stopping Chase, Burrow has relied more on Higgins and Boyd in recent weeks. Higgins recently had three consecutive 100-yard games, while Boyd caught five passes for 96 yards and a score in last Sunday's win over the Broncos.
Injuries have severely weakened what is traditionally one of the NFL's best units. The Ravens' defense continues to be tough against the run, however, as Baltimore has permitted over 100 yards on the ground just once over its past six games. The Ravens' defense has been led by linebacker Patrick Queen, rookie Odafe Oweh and veteran Calais Campbell.
While their Week 7 win put them on the map, a win Sunday over the Ravens would solidify the Bengals' claim as the NFC North's best team. The Ravens will put up a fight, but the Bengals have the depth and the talent to pull off the season sweep while getting one step closer toward a division title.
Score: Bengals 30, Ravens 27