The Baltimore Ravens have had a lot of trouble with the Cincinnati Bengals over the past few years, and Sunday’s season opener will be a major test for the team.
The Baltimore Ravens have had a lot of trouble with the Cincinnati Bengals over the past few years, especially in Cincinnati, having lost five-straight games in Paul Brown Stadium, last winning a game there in the 2011-12 season.
It’s not like it’s been particularly pretty either over the past few years. Since 2012, playing in Paul Brown Stadium has been the bane of Joe Flacco‘s existence, as he’s had a 56.1 passer rating, one touchdown, and six interceptions.
And during that five-game losing streak in Cincinnati, the Baltimore Ravens have averaged 16.8 points per game and have lost by an average of 10.2 points, and they’re not alone in their struggles in Cincy, as the Bengals are 27-11-2 since 2012 at home, fifth-best in the NFL.
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If you asked your average Ravens fan where the hardest place for the Ravens to play is, they’d probably (understandably) say Heinz Field in Pittsburgh or Gillette Stadium in New England, but since 2012, the Ravens have had some successes in those hostile environments. Just not in Cincinnati.
When it comes to playing the Bengals, every NFL team worries about how they’ll handle star wide receiver A.J. Green, but Green has been especially good every time he’s played the Baltimore Ravens.
Green has faced the Ravens eight times, in through those eight games, he’s averaged 90.8 receiving yards and has caught a total of six touchdowns, both being the most yards and touchdowns against the Ravens by a single player in the NFL since 2011.
Certainly Ravens fans remember some of Green’s highlights against the Ravens, like this 80-yard touchdown:
Or this last-second hail mary pass that ended up tying the game, sending it to overtime (luckily the Ravens ended up winning in overtime):
Needless to say, A.J. Green has been good every single time the Ravens have faced him. Green didn’t see the Ravens at all last year due to a hamstring injury, but in every game since 2013, Green has at least one touchdown and has averaged 120.8 yards per game, including his ridiculous game in 2015 where he had 10 catches for 227 yards and two touchdowns.
“He can ruin a game; he’s done it before, especially for us,” said safety Eric Weddle. “We have to be on our toes, technically sound, and play good team defense to make sure he’s not going to ruin our afternoon.”
The Baltimore Ravens improved their secondary this offseason with the addition of free agents Tony Jefferson and Brandon Carr, as well as drafting Marlon Humphrey, and Sunday’s season-opener will be a major test for that secondary. Maybe Sunday will be the day the Baltimore Ravens finally win a game in Cincinnati.