The Cincinnati Bengals are looking to bounce back after a loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 10 of the NFL season. The team played admirably in the losing effort, but if this Bengals team wants to be taken seriously, they can take no solace in moral victories.
A win over the Baltimore Ravens in Week 11 will be critical in the AFC North race, but is more important for the young team’s psyche. The Bengals five game winning streak was enormous for their confidence, but two straight losses to divisional foes can quickly erase those good feelings.
The odds are against Cincinnati as they travel to Baltimore to face a Ravens team that is coming off an embarrassing loss to the Seattle Seahawks. You can be sure Ray Lewis and the Ravens will be in a foul mood.
The trend the Ravens have followed this season is to play at their peak in an emotionally-charged game and play poorly against an inferior opponent. After beating the Steelers in Week 1, the team lost to the Tennessee Titans in Week 2. Then after defeating Houston in Week 6, Baltimore lost to the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 7. One week before the loss to the fledgling Seahawks, the Ravens beat Pittsburgh for the second time.
If this pattern holds, the Bengals are in for a fight on Sunday, but if Cincinnati does five things, they will leave Baltimore with a critical victory.