Sunday, December 29, 2013
Prediction time: Ravens at Bengals
By Jamison Hensley
CINCINNATI -- Which quarterback is going to break his slump Sunday?
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco has lost three of his last four games at Paul Brown Stadium, throwing two touchdowns and six interceptions for a 51.1 passer rating in that stretch. Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton is 1-4 in his career against the Ravens, with his only win coming in a Week 17 game last year that was meaningless.
This is a big game for both quarterbacks and their teams. The Ravens need a win and a loss by either the Miami Dolphins or San Diego Chargers to reach the playoffs (Baltimore can also qualify if the Dolphins, Chargers and Steelers all lose). The Bengals, the AFC North champions, can clinch a first-round bye if they beat the Ravens and the New England Patriots lose at home to the Buffalo Bills.
Here are the official ESPN predictions (with their prediction record for the Ravens in parentheses):
Jamison Hensley (11-4), Ravens reporter: Bengals, 28-20. The Ravens typically bounce back from demoralizing defeats. But with a banged-up Flacco, there's not a sense that Baltimore can get up from this knockout blow, especially against a division opponent that plays its best at home.
Coley Harvey, Bengals reporter: Bengals, 31-21.
Eric Allen (6-9): Bengals
Mike Golic (9-6): Bengals
Merril Hoge (7-8): Bengals
Ron Jaworski (9-6): Bengals
KC Joyner (8-7): Bengals
Chris Mortensen (7-8): Bengals
Adam Schefter (8-7): Bengals
Mark Schlereth (8-7): Bengals
Seth Wickersham (8-7): Ravens
Tom Jackson (7-7): Bengals
Keyshawn Johnson (7-7): Bengals
Mike Ditka (6-9): Bengals
Cris Carter (6-8): Bengals