The Ravens say goodbye to Ray Rice for their season opener against the Bengals. Rice is suspended for the first two games for a domestic violence charge.
Location: M&T Bank Stadium (Ravens)
Head-to-Head record: Ravens lead 20-16
Last meeting: December 29, 2013 – Bengals won 34-17
Since 2008, the Bengals and Ravens have combined for 9 trips to the playoffs. While the Ravens have seen unparalleled success under John Harbaugh – 3 AFC Championship appearances and a Superbowl win – the Bengals have not won a single playoff game under head coach Marvin Lewis in 11 seasons.
Now that the Bengals feel they have their man at QB with Andy Dalton and a defense that may be one of the best in the NFL, they feel have a team that can win the AFC North title once again.
The Ravens collapsed in 2013 and finished 8-8, their first non-winning season and playoff miss since Harbaugh and QB Joe Flacco joined the team in 2008. The team will be without RB Ray Rice for this game and the next after being suspended for domestic abuse.
Considering that both of these teams are frontrunners for the AFC North title this year, the winner of this game might have the edge when they play each other again in late October.
Prediction: Bengals – The Ravens offense still has some question marks, especially with RB Ray Rice out for the first two games. Look for the Bengals to capitalize on the offensive inadequacies and use their own offense – with plenty of firepower from A.J. Green and Tyler Eifert – to manhandle the Ravens.