Kickoff Sunday, Jan 15th 8:15pm Eastern

Ravens (
18.5) at

Bengals (

Over/Under 43.5


Key Matchups
Ravens Run D
7th DVOA/27th Yards allowed per carry
Bengals Run O
22nd DVOA/27th Yards per carry
Ravens Pass D
1st DVOA/1st Yards allowed per pass
Bengals Pass O
14th DVOA/26th Yards per pass
Bengals Run D
28th DVOA/31st Yards allowed per carry
Ravens Run O
1st DVOA/3rd Yards per carry
Bengals Pass D
21st DVOA/32nd Yards allowed per pass
Ravens Pass O
4th DVOA/4th Yards per pass

Game Overview ::

By Hilow >>
  • Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson revealed via social media that he suffered a “grade 2 borderline grade 3” PCL sprain, adding that there “is still inflammation surrounding (his) knee” – that injury typically carries a six to 10-week recovery window (as in, he is highly likely to sit this week).
  • Gus Edwards picked up a concussion in Week 18 but returned to a limited showing in Thursday’s practice – it appears he is at least on the right path to clearing the league’s five-step concussion protocol in time for Sunday.
  • Bengals standout right guard Alex Cappa missed practice Wednesday and Thursday.
  • The Ravens pass offense is quite literally Mark Andrews, Mark Andrews, and Mark Andrews – in descending order.
  • Ja’Marr Chase has distanced himself from Tee Higgins as far as who the true alpha on Cincinnati’s offense is, with the most glaring metric being his red zone involvement. Chase led the league in red zone targets per game amongst all wide receivers this season.

How Baltimore Will Try To Win ::

The Ravens are hurting in all the wrong places as they limp into the postseason, with Lamar Jackson highly unlikely to play this weekend with a Grade 2/3 PCL strain, Tyler Huntley dealing with tendinitis in this throwing shoulder, top wide receivers Rashad Bateman and Devin Duvernay done for the season, and Gus Edwards dealing with a concussion. Not coincidentally, four of their five lowest pass rate over expectation values have come since Week 13 (when Lamar Jackson injured his knee, excluding their Week 18 contest where they rested players). Even with most primary starters getting the day off, the Ravens played the Bengals tough in Week 18 after beating them 19-17 in Baltimore earlier in the season. They earned that victory over these Bengals in Week 5 on the backs of their defense, holding the Bengals to their second-lowest scoring output of the season. I expect that to be the game plan here – play the Bengals tough on defense, attempt to limit mistakes and play with a slow pace of play on offense, and do enough to stay in the game into the fourth quarter where they’ll look to leverage variance.

The injuries to the top two wide receivers have left the Ravens playing primarily from heavy sets to end the season, with elevated rates of both 21- and 12-personnel through the utilization of fullback Patrick Ricard and tight ends Mark Andrews, Josh Oliver, and Isaiah Likely. The split in work with this backfield is also relatively known, with J.K. Dobbins the primary early down back, Gus Edwards the short yardage back, Kenyan Drake likely to only be active should Edwards be unable to go, and Justice Hill the primary change of pace and clear passing situations back. That leaves Dobbins the primary ball handler albeit with a ceiling of 16-18 running back opportunities and little opportunity to pile up targets, Gus Edwards the likeliest to punch in a goal line score albeit with uncertainty surrounding his availability due to concussion, and Justice Hill unlikely to find the end zone outside of the two-minute offense although the likeliest of the bunch to see two-minute offense utilization. Either way you slice it, there isn’t a ton of room for ceiling from this backfield considering the three-way timeshare – which should remain even if Edwards misses due to the insertion of Kenyan Drake. The pure rushing matchup yields an average 4.335 net-adjusted line yards metric in a largely neutral matchup.

The primary pass-catchers for the Ravens are now Mark Andrews, Mark Andrews, and then Mark Andrews, with Demarcus Robinson, James Proche, Sammy Watkins, Tylan Wallace, and Isaiah Likely all playing situational roles after the release of DeSean Jackson prior to Week 18. Robinson is the one most likely to approach 60-65% of the offensive snaps as the “primary wide receiver,” but Andrews is the only player likely to be utilized as an every-down pass-catcher. Sammy Watkins rejoined the Ravens after being released by the Packers and has played between 33% and 50% of the offensive snaps during his three games back with the franchise. Tyler Huntley has made five starts for the Ravens this season, failing to finish one. His pass attempts in those games were 32, 12 (left early with an injury, but Anthony Brown added only five pass attempts), 30, 17, and 21 – with the team operating with an extremely low pass rate over expectation values in all five games. That severely limits the upside for all pass-catchers not named Mark Andrews (remember, he’s the top three options through the passing game for the Ravens). That said, the biggest vulnerability of the Bengals 3-4, zone-heavy, low blitz rate defense is over the intermediate middle of the field to tight ends, presenting an opportunity for upside for Andrews under the right circumstances (say, like would be the case in playoff desperation in a negative game script).

How Cincinnati Will Try To Win ::

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