Ravens, Bengals Fight For Top Of AFC North In Week 7

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Lamar Jackson
Lamar Jackson #8 of the Baltimore Ravens scrambles with the ball against the Kansas City Chiefs during the second quarter at M&T Bank Stadium on September 19, 2021 in Baltimore, Maryland.

The Baltimore Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals are set to fight for control of the AFC North when they meet on Sunday, October 24 for Week 7.

Quarterback Lamar Jackson and the Ravens have been on a roll since losing to the Las Vegas Raiders in Week 1 despite the loss of key personnel before the season even started.

The Ravens rattled off five straight victories, with major close calls against the Kansas City Chiefs, Detroit Lions and Indianapolis Colts.

In Week 6 against the Los Angeles Chargers, the Ravens relied on a healthy diet of rushing and passing on offense as the defense took care of highly-rated quarterback Justin Herbert.

Jackson put up 218 yards, 167 through the air and 51 on the ground, and one touchdown against two interceptions, yet soundly defeated the Chargers 34-6.

Latavius Murray, Le’Veon Bell and Devonte Freeman all had one touchdown apiece that helped take the load off Jackson from carrying the offense two weeks in a row.

However, the Bengals will have Joe Burrow leading them going into Week 7.

Burrow had a strong outing against the Lions last week, amassing 271 yards and three touchdowns off one interception, for a quarterback rating of 115.7.

His favorite target thus far, rookie Ja’Marr Chase, is set for another week of big numbers after putting up 97 yards on just four receptions against the Lions.

Ravens cornerback Marlon Humphrey played exceptionally well against the Chargers and is expected to cover Chase for much of the game.

There is hope they can stop Burrow though as the Ravens rank eighth in quarterback hits and ninth in sacks with the Bengals offensive line allowing 16 total sacks this season.

Bengals running back Joe Mixon is off to a solid start this season with an average of 80 yards per game and 4.3 yards per carry, leading to three touchdowns.

But then again, the Ravens defensive line has done particularly well in stopping the run game as well, ranking 10th in yards per carry and third in yards allowed per game.

The Bengals defense is also off to a terrific start this season, allowing only 3.9 yards per carry and 6.5 yards through the air, with defensive end Trey Hendrickson coming off the edge to sack the quarterback at least once in four of their last five games.

Burrow will surely have big numbers against the Ravens' secondary, but it will be a difficult time for him to do so with pass rushers Justin Houston and Odafe Oweh pressuring him.

Ravens’ rookie receiver Rashod Bateman is projected to feature heavily after offensive coordinator Greg Roman hinted that they will be giving him more burn as the season progresses.

With a number of weapons at Jackson’s disposal, and being a weapon himself, there is reason to believe that the Ravens can defend home turf this Sunday, October 24 at 1:00 PM EDT.

Prediction: Ravens beat Bengals, 34 – 23

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