The Washington Football Team stood no chance on Sunday against a Baltimore squad out for revenge. Quarterback Dwayne Haskins was overwhelmed by the Raven’s pass rush led by Matt Judon, as well as Marlon Humphrey and the rest of the backfield. Baltimore’s performance put them back on track to dominate the regular season, rebounding from an ugly loss against Kansas City. Lamar Jackson shined through the air and on the ground, showing off his elite playmaking ability on a 50-yard touchdown scamper. The highlight-reel of a play was the longest run of Jackson’s career.
A divisional bout is up next for Baltimore’s birds, with the number one overall pick of the 2020 NFL draft coming into M and T Bank Stadium. Former LSU star quarterback, Heisman trophy winner, and 2019 National Championship victor, Joe Burrow has flashed potential as being the future of Cincinnati. Although Burrow has only secured a single victory so far this season, two losses were one-score games. A rare tie against the Philadelphia Eagles has Burrow’s Bengals at 1-2-1. The rookie signal-caller sports an impressive 6:2 touchdown to interception ratio, while throwing for over 1,000 yards already.
Playing against any team in the AFC North is always a test, but divisional matchups in 2020 appear to be tougher than ever for the Ravens. Pittsburgh has veteran quarterback Ben Roethlisberger returning with a young, hot aerial attack. Cleveland’s Baker Mayfield is trending upwards with his cast of offensive stars, and the Bengal’s promising rookie quarterback has entered the league with a bang.
Like Pittsburgh and Cleveland, Cincinnati sports their own playmakers throughout the roster besides their beloved rookie. Running back Joe Mixon is coming off of a three touchdown performance, with savvy receivers A.J. Green and Tyler Boyd making plays per usual. Defensive tackle Geno Atkins has yet to play a game in 2020, doing a favor for any opposing offensive lineman facing the Bengals. The Ravens will be relieved if he misses another match, yet will still have to maintain a productive defensive end in Carlos Dunlap.
Expect Baltimore’s defensive coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale to try to get after Burrow early and often. Throwing a complex defensive scheme with multiple blitz packages will overwhelm most rookie quarterbacks, but Burrow may be up to the task.
Baltimore shouldn’t have much trouble establishing their run game, but divisional bouts have appeared to be unpredictable. The last time these teams met Lamar Jackson had the play of the year, breaking multiple ankles of Bengal defenders with a jaw-dropping spin move. Will another play of the year take place this Sunday? Final score prediction: 34-21 Ravens.