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National Football League
Preview
Baltimore at Cincinnati
When: 1:00 PM ET, Sunday, October 26, 2014
Where: Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, Ohio

Teams whose fortunes have changed drastically since their Week 1 matchup meet again Sunday when the Cincinnati Bengals host the Baltimore Ravens in a crucial AFC North contest. Since losing at home to the Bengals, the Ravens have won five of the last six games to claim the division lead, but coach John Harbaugh isn't ready to punch his postseason ticket just yet. “We have a lot of football left to play, and we’re not a good enough football team right now to accomplish the things that we plan on accomplishing,” Harbaugh said at his Monday press conference. “The ball is in our court and we need to go get that done.”

Cincinnati started the season with three consecutive victories before the wheels started falling off against New England. The Bengals played poorly last week against Indianapolis, yielding 506 yards and going three-and-out on their first eight possessions in the 27-0 whitewash, and desperately need a victory in a venue where they have 11 wins and a tie in their last 12 games. "You've got to move past (recent struggles). We know that's not the type of team we are," quarterback Andy Dalton said earlier this week. "We're not focused on what we did last week, we're focused on this week. We've got a good task at hand."

ABOUT THE RAVENS (5-2): In his best season to date, quarterback Joe Flacco is completing 63.7 percent with a 97.2 passer rating – both career highs - and is on pace for 32 TD passes, which would also be a career best. Justin Forsett, one of the biggest surprises in the NFL this season, has given Baltimore a running attack, averaging 5.8 yards per carry. The Ravens are only 16th in total defense (345.9 yards) but still lead the league in scoring defense (14.9) and red zone TD efficiency (36.4).

ABOUT THE BENGALS (3-2-1): Cincinnati has surrendered averages of 35.7 points and 480.7 yards in the past three games after permitting 11 and 353, respectively, in its first three contests. Offensively, third downs have been a nightmare for the Bengals, who are converting just 32.9 percent for 30th in the NFL. All-Pro wideout A.J. Green, who has missed the last two games with a toe injury suffered in the opener, is expected to play and provide Dalton a playmaker on every down. Green made a circus catch on a 77-yard TD pass in the final minutes of the Week 1 encounter to pull out the victory against Baltimore.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Forsett has seven runs of 20-plus yards this season, tied for first in the league with Dallas RB DeMarco Murray, who has 100 more carries.

2. The Ravens have 16 sacks this season, but 10 have come in the last two games.

3. Cincinnati is averaging 4.1 yards per carry, but other than an 89-yard burst by Giovani Bernard two weeks ago against Carolina, the club’s longest run is 20 yards.

PREDICTION: Ravens 34, Bengals 17

Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf OT Div Conf
Baltimore 5-2 W2 27.6 14.9 3-1 2-1 2-0 3-2 0-0 2-1 2-2
Cincinnati 3-2-1 L1 22.3 23.3 2-0-1 1-2 0-0 3-2-1 0-0-1 1-0 2-2
Last Meeting
Baltimore Cincinnati
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
9/7/14 CIN 23 BAL 16 423 94 329 380 79 301
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Baltimore J. Flacco 56.5 345 1 1
Cincinnati A. Dalton 65.8 301 1 0
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Baltimore J. Forsett 11 70 6.4 1
Cincinnati G. Bernard 14 48 3.4 0
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Baltimore S. Smith 7 118 16.9 1
Cincinnati A. Green 6 131 21.8 1
Touchdowns Player TD
Baltimore J. Forsett 1
Cincinnati A. Green 1
Season
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Baltimore J. Flacco 63.7 1854 14 5
Cincinnati A. Dalton 64.0 1375 6 3
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Baltimore J. Forsett 87 503 5.8 3
Cincinnati G. Bernard 93 401 4.3 4
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Baltimore S. Smith 38 640 16.8 4
Cincinnati M. Sanu 30 408 13.6 3
Touchdowns Player TD
Baltimore S. Smith 4
Cincinnati G. Bernard 4