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Friday, September 17, 2010
Take your pick recap: Ravens vs. Bengals

By James Walker
ESPN.com

This week's "Take your pick" focused on the biggest AFC North matchup of Week 2. We asked our community who will come out on top between the Baltimore Ravens (1-0) and Cincinnati Bengals (0-1).

The Bengals are putting their seven-game division winning steak on the line that dates back to 2008. Baltimore was the last AFC North team to beat Cincinnati and will try to put the reigning division champs in an 0-2 hole.

Here were the responses from our division inbox and AFC North Twitter:

Bengals win!

Rob Maxwell from Cincinnati writes: The Bengals have owned the Ravens. And when the Bengals go no-huddle in the single-back set, as they did last Sunday against the New England Patriots. Who's going to cover Jordan Shipley and Jermaine Gresham? Good luck to Baltimore's depleted secondary. Cincinnati 21, Baltimore 10.

Jack from Newark, Ohio, writes: I see this game as not even a really close one, with the Bengals bouncing back from last week's very disappointing game and beating the Ravens by 17 (31-14, Cincy). My reasoning is that Mike Zimmer's defense never plays a poor in back-to-back games, and also I really think with how our passing game looked last week, Carson Palmer will torch the Ravens' secondary the entire game. The Ravens will bring a lot of questions to their supposed "Super Bowl run" with this loss to the Bengals. Count on it.

Kyle from Southgate, Ky., writes: I've got the Bengals all the way, and not just because I'm a homer. The Bengals offense got moving against the Patriots in the second half of their Week 1 game, and Palmer put up some big numbers. Call my glass half full, but I think our passing game won't be stopped by anyone in our division, starting with the Ravens. Just when teams think they've got Chad Ochocinco and T.O. locked up, Shipley and Gresham will make the plays.

Nadfflictar via Twitter writes: I guarantee the Pittsburgh Steelers get crushed this week, and the Bengals will be on top of the standings after Sunday.

Jamie from West Chester, Ohio, writes: Lifelong Bengals fan here, and I know their historical tendencies. So I say the Bengals win this week simply because they lost to the Pats last week. It's strange, but that's how they roll. Plus this team was built to compete against two teams only: Ravens and Steelers.

Patrick Larmore from Longmont, Colo., writes: As a Steelers fan, I hope they both loose (can I hope for a tie?). I'm picking the Bengals in this one. There's no specific reason except that the Bengals must rebound from a poor showing in New England, and I think the Ravens will not be able to recover in a short week after a brutal defensive battle in New York.

Kwmeyer via Twitter writes: Bengals. We get this every time they face each other. Bengals can't match up to the Ravens. Yet, Cincy still manages to win.

Ravens win!

Josh from Baltimore writes: RAVENS!!!! We beat the New York Jets in a hostile environment against a nasty defense. Cincy laid an egg against the Pats. The Jets have a better defense than the Bengals. Ravens will be able to score more this week and beat the Bungals!

BigDave from Severna Park, Md., writes: The Ravens will finally put it all together offensively, using the pass to set up Ray Rice and the running game. The defense will remain strong, with the not-so-questionable-anymore secondary shutting down the Bengals' passing attack. Ravens by 17, final score 27-10. I can't wait!

Ravensgohard via Twitter writes: Ravens! Cincy's going to put up a fight, but I just don't think that offense is physical enough for the Ravens' D.

DrTarzin via Twitter writes: Ravens show their prolific offense off, 34-28 RAVENS!!

Eddie from Beaufort, S.C., writes: Carson needs a low-scoring affair to win. Unfortunately, Cincy has too many problems on D. Expect more of the same when Baltimore comes to town.

Davon from Baltimore writes: The Ravens are definitely taking this one. Two losses last year. Plus, you seen Ray Lewis? He's in midseason form. Expect a lot more from the offense. It will be fun but I think the ravens are more mentally focused at this point that the Bengals

DanCorl via Twitter writes: I've got the Ravens winning in overtime, 30-27.

AFC North finals say

James Walker: Coming off a stellar Week 1, "Walker's AFC North picks" will predict this game and others in the division Friday. Stay tuned.