Division Derby: Week 5
Cincinnati Bengals (4-1): Never thought the Bengals would be the first team talked about in this breakdown… but here we go. The Bengals are an anomaly right now. Their record says they need to be taken seriously (especially with wins over Baltimore, Pittsburgh and Green Bay, and a close loss to Denver). But their statistics say they are just another middle of the road team on all sides of the ball: 18th in total offense, 17th in total defense. The question is: will the record eventually match the stats or will the stats eventually match the record? One of the two is bound to happen. Personally, I’m betting on the latter - but I’ll let the season play that out. Next Game: vs. Houston (2-3)
Baltimore Ravens (3-2): The Ravens have had a pretty funky fall from grace in the last two weeks. They had a chance to win in New England on the final drive, but failed. They also had plenty of chances to close out the Bengals (in a game the Ravens had no business winning), but failed there as well. If the Ravens win either of these games, no one even gives a second thought to how “real” the Ravens are. But they didn’t win. And that’s all there is to it. The road ahead is no easier and the Ravens need to establish a team identity and fast. Even the Bengals have one right now, even if its as silly as “winning every game in the final minute.” Next Game: @ Minnesota (5-0)
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