The Cincinnati Bengals are a bit of a joke, having not won a playoff game since the 1990 season. Marvin Lewis somehow keeps his job – as does Andy Dalton – despite repeatedly folding up like cheap tents in the postseason.
Despite this, the unfortunate fact is that this squad has owned our Baltimore Ravens of late. John Harbaugh & Joe Flacco are just 8-10 against Cincinnati, and they’ve lost seven of the last nine. If they want to get back atop the AFC North, they’ll need to stop losing to scrub Dalton – it’s just that simple.
Can they do it? Let’s find out.
Here are this week’s stats, notes, quotes, and more.
KNOW THY ENEMY
QUOTES OF THE WEEK
NFL.com’s Kevin Patra on Baltimore’s defense:
“That Ravens defense, though. Oh, boy. Like unrelenting waves crashing against rocks, the Ravens’ defense drowns opponents with swarming speed, smart athleticism, and smothering power. This has the potential to be the best defensive unit in the NFL this year.”
15-year veteran OLB Terrell Suggs on the Ravens’ defense:
“It’s a new era of Ravens. I’m the Vader of the group – the last of my kind. I like that, but you can’t deny a C.J. Mosley, Brandon Williams, Eric Weddle or Tony Jefferson. The guys we have now are a new era of Ravens. It’s very fortunate for me to still be a part [of it], to be the last piece of that transition. It’s a good feeling, but it’s also exciting to see these young guys go out there and create the new era of Ravens with the statement they’re trying to make.”
RB Danny Woodhead on joining the Ravens:
“I wanted to come here because I believe in what this organization believes in, and that is winning. That is what my aspirations are. I hated these guys when I was in New England and lost the AFC Championship Game. Usually those are the teams you want to play for. I am so excited to be a part of the Raven culture and what it means to be a Raven. I see what it says on the wall – ‘Play Like a Raven.’ I am excited to play for this city, because it seems like my type of city – go out, work hard and blue collar.”
DT Brandon Williams on what it takes to make the playoffs:
“We have to learn how to finish – myself included. I’m definitely pointing more fingers at myself than anyone else. I take it to heart – stopping the run, getting to the quarterback and pushing the pocket. I have to be better.”
Fox Sports analyst Shannon Sharpe on his prediction for the Ravens’ 2017 season:
“The AFC representative for Super Bowl LII will be the Baltimore Ravens. I love what they have done – adding Jeremy Maclin. Breshad Perriman got healthy last year. I love Mike Wallace. I love the addition of Danny Woodhead. A year after the [knee] surgery, Joe Flacco will be even better. Defensively, this is the one team that no matter where they play them at, they never bow down to the Patriots. They come after [Tom Brady].”
GETTING TO KNOW YOU ~ Q&A with Tony Jefferson
How important is it to you to maintain the Ravens’ defensive legacy?
“There’s so much history here. We don’t want to be the group to let that down. We want to be the best in the NFL. If we execute, the rest will take care of itself.”
Did that history attract you during free agency?“
Definitely. I’m in it to win. I felt like the opportunity here to win was higher than the [other] options I had. I’m just happy I chose this spot. I don’t think I could’ve chosen a better place for me.”
How are you adjusting to the East Coast?
“It took me a while, at first. When I first got here and signed on March 9, it snowed that whole week. I just wasn’t ready for it; I didn’t pack for it. I had a rental car, and it got stuck. I didn’t know how to do anything to get it out. Eric Weddle actually had to come pick me up and take me to the facility.”
If you could play any other position, which would you play?
“Running back. I’m a running back playing safety – I’ve been saying that since I got in the league. Running back is what I’ve played my whole career, and when I got to Oklahoma, they moved me to defense.”
Being a Raven means…
“It means being the best person you can be day-in and day-out and trying to better yourself. It’s not just football here. Everyone – the players, coaches and staff – try to build you up as a man and as a person. It’s family here.”
Go-to pump-up song?
“Despacito– the original with Daddy Yankee.”
“If it’s a night game, I have to get in two games of Madden NFL. If it’s a day game, I drink a gallon of water before I go to bed, then half a gallon in the morning when I wake up.”
“I like to play paintball.”
You’re one of the best you know at…
Most memorable football moment?
“The second game of preseason my rookie year , I was the third-string safety, undrafted rookie. That Thursday, the guy ahead of me hurt his knee, so I became the No. 2. I came in in the second quarter, and in the second series that I was in, I got an interception. I was hyped about that. The last play of the game – to win the game – I had another interception. I had two in that game. It was the most defining moment of my career.”
HEY, YOU LOOK FAMILIAR! ~ Key Connections
Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis served as Baltimore’s defensive coordinator from 1996-2001, helping the Ravens claim Super Bowl XXXV in the 2000 season.
In 1998, Bengals ST coordinator Darrin Simmons was Baltimore’s assistant ST & assistant strength and conditioning coach. … Bengals assistant strength & conditioning coach Jeff Friday was the Ravens’ head strength & conditioning coach from 1999-2007. … Bengals strength and conditioning coach Chip Morton (1999-2001) served as the assistant strength coach for Baltimore. … Bengals D-line coach Jacob Burney served as the Ravens’ D-line coach from 1996-98.
Bengals RB Cedric Peerman (Injured Reserve) was Baltimore’s sixth-round draft pick in 2009.
LAUGH OF THE WEEK AT EXPENSE OF RAVENS’ OPPONENT