Note: The quotes in this article are fictional.
Baltimore @ Cincinnati (-1)
Ray Lewis, in the buildup to the Ravens/Jets Monday night opener, pleaded with everyone not to get consumed by the Jets' brash talk. Well, the wizened veteran proved prophetic, as the physical Ravens bullied their way to a 10-9 win in the Meadowlands. Now attention turns to AFC North rival Cincinnati, which swept the Ravens in 2009.
"When I said 'Don't believe the hype,'" Lewis explained, "I meant it. I said it with conviction, just like I said 'Don't believe the witness' some time ago, although I guess you could say that was a statement made without conviction.
"Anyway, we've silenced the Jets for now. We've heard enough of their bold talk on 'Hard Knocks.' Well, Home Box Office, in conjunction with the Baltimore Ravens, would like to announce the sequel. In the spirit of filmmakers past, it's a silent picture, entitled 'Sound Off.'"
Films of yore, quoth the Raven. Films of yore.
Against the Ravens, the Jets lacked anything resembling a downfield passing game. That's a strength of the Bengals, who boast strong-armed quarterback Carson Palmer, as well as veteran wide receivers Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens.
"We don't fear the Ravens," Ochocinco said, "and we don't fear Ray Lewis, at least in his Old Spice commercial. And we won't shy away from crossing patterns over the middle, despite the fact that we saw Ray knock Dustin Keller so silly, Keller couldn't even locate the first down marker later. In fact, T.O. and I have an online crusade of fans begging us to take on Ray across the middle. We call them the 'Alligator Arm-y.'"
The Bengals have home turf to defend and need to avoid an 0-2 hole in the AFC North. They will do so, with a finely-crafted game plan modeled exactly the opposite of the Jets.'
Bengals win, 19-16.