Here’s how The Baltimore Sun sports staff views the outcome of Sunday’s Week 18 game between the Ravens (10-6) and Cincinnati Bengals (11-4) at Paycor Stadium.
Hayes Gardner, reporter
Bengals 24, Ravens 16: Cincinnati hasn’t lost since October. Playing at home against a Baltimore team unlikely to be healthy at quarterback doesn’t seem like the game that will snap that streak.
Mike Preston, columnist
Bengals 21, Ravens 13: The Ravens have to get their running game going but also need to take some shots downfield. They are going to need explosive plays, which might come in the return game, but the Ravens lack impact players on offense. The Bengals are pretty healthy for this game, which doesn’t bode well for Baltimore.
Childs Walker, reporter
Bengals 27, Ravens 17: The Bengals are rolling into another postseason while the Ravens have struggled to find any offensive spark without Lamar Jackson at quarterback. We don’t know if both teams will play their starters throughout, but we do know the Bengals have been superior in the second half of the season.
Ryan McFadden, reporter
Bengals 24, Ravens 13: The Ravens’ offense is a complete mess right now, and the uncertainty at quarterback as Tyler Huntley deals with a shoulder and wrist injury doesn’t help. It’s hard to imagine Baltimore putting enough points on the board to keep up with a Bengals offense led by quarterback Joe Burrow and talented wide receivers.
C.J. Doon, editor
Bengals 20, Ravens 16: The Bengals are healthier, more talented and seemingly motivated to win given that a coin toss could send them to Baltimore for the wild-card round. Even if the Ravens’ defense finally gets off the field on third down and at the end of halves, it’s hard to envision quarterbacks Tyler Huntley or Anthony Brown doing enough to push the Ravens to victory.
Tim Schwartz, editor
Bengals 28, Ravens 13: It looks like the Ravens could be down to their third-string quarterback on Sunday, and even if they aren’t, I don’t like their chances against a Bengals team that is relatively rested after playing less than a quarter against the Bills. The Ravens don’t have a lot to play for, and they might see Cincinnati again next week, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see more backups than usual. Simply put, Cincinnati is the better team right now no matter how you shake it.