Just a few weeks ago, the Ravens sat at 4-2 and near the top of the AFC North. Coming off a 21-0 shutout of the Tennessee Titans, they were confident they could compete with the other playoff contenders and maybe take the division.
A heartbreaking one-point loss to the powerful Saints kicked off a three-game skid. Now they find themselves in a must-win situation against the Cincinnati Bengals to keep up with the surging Steelers.
Joe Flacco is hurting and looked more like the ailing shell of a quarterback the team saw in 2017 than the revitalized early-season leader who got them off to their fast start. Rookie Lamar Jackson might become the fifth quarterback from the 2018 draft class to start a game this week.
Cincinnati would have lost four in a row, too, if not for the fortune of facing the Buccaneers’ inept defense in Week 9. Still, they can’t feel confident in giving Tampa Bay 34 points in between 45-10 and 51-14 losses, even if those losses came at the hands of the Chiefs and Saints.
Baltimore’s offense led by a rookie or a wounded quarterback could be just what the doctor ordered for the Bengals’ defense. Baltimore might be happy to face the Bengals without AJ Green, too.
Injuries and notes
Lamar Jackson is taking first-team snaps while Flacco receives treatment on his injured hip this week. However, the Ravens have not yet ruled out their veteran as Sunday’s starter.
Both of the Ravens’ starting offensive tackles are truly questionable. Ronnie Stanley (foot) and James Hurst (back) might both play, or they might both miss the game. Their status will determine whether Flacco is behind center or if the mobile rookie is the choice.
Wide receiver AJ Green (toe) could be out until December, according to local beat writers. Josh Malone (hamstring) is also questionable heading into Sunday.
Marvin Lewis recruited some help, we think, in adding former Browns head coach Hue Jackson to his staff as an advisor. With both games against Cleveland still pending, he can at least offer some insight for those matchups.
Lewis needs to get the Bengals back on track before the season is lost. He might not survive another losing campaign.
Likewise for John Harbaugh. Nothing less than a playoff run might keep the team from starting with a fresh coach alongside their new quarterback and GM next season.
Losses to the Saints, Panthers, and Steelers is no reason to panic, but the skid has to not just end. Harbaugh knows the Ravens need to get some swagger back.
How to watch the Ravens-Bengals game
CBS Sports will show this game to local audiences in the first time slot. While many fans will catch the game from their cable or satellite television providers, truly savvy fans will watch the live stream version on Sling TV.
Sling TV will send the original CBS Sports feed to your favorite Internet-connected device in real time, so you can watch it wherever you are.
Sling TV, Fubo TV, and DirecTV Now are among the internet TV providers offering tons of live stream NFL action along with dozens of other movie and entertainment channels as part of their low-cost monthly subscription packages.
Best of all, you don’t need expensive equipment. Sling, Fubo TV, and DirecTV Now will never ask you to sign a contract, either. You can cancel any time. You get all that at a fraction of the cost of tradition cable or satellite bills.
Check out their websites to see how you can save hundreds of dollars with internet TV today.
Read More: NFL Week 12 Game Preview: Raiders at Ravens
Who will win the Ravens-Bengals game?
This game might come down to which defense steps up. Since the Ravens defense held the Saints and Steelers to way fewer points than the Bengals did, that would give the edge to Baltimore.
Home field advantage and a better outlook on their seasons help, too. The Bengals’ woes continue.