A year after their surprising Super Bowl run, the Bengals will look to begin a successful defense of their AFC title Sunday night as they’ve kicked off in their Super Bowl Wild Card Weekend matchup with the visiting Ravens.
The Bengals won a second straight AFC North division title this season despite an 0-2 start that saw them struggle to score points. Led by Joe Burrow and an offensive line that improved throughout the year, the Bengals’ offense eventually snapped out of their early season funk to finish seventh in the NFL in scoring, third in third down efficiency and fifth in red zone efficiency during the regular season.
The Bengals’ defense, led by Trey Hendrickson and Pro Bowl snub Germaine Pratt, also played a significant role in Cincinnati’s turnaround. Hendrickson, Pratt and Co. are familiar with Baltimore’s starting quarterback for Sunday night’s game, rookie Anthony Brown, after facing him in the Bengals’ Week 18 win over Baltimore. Brown, who played in just two games during the regular season, is in line to make his second career start on Sunday if Tyler Huntley (who was listed as questionable with shoulder and wrist injuries) can’t go. Lamar Jackson (knee) has already been ruled out.
Running back J.K. Dobbins, tight ends Mark Andrews and Isaiah Likely, and the Ravens’ third-ranked scoring defense will look to take some of the burden off of whoever is playing quarterback. Baltimore’s defense, a year after being torched by Burrow in both matchups, held him to just 432 total passing yards in their two games against the Bengals during the 2022 regular season.
Which team will come out on top on Sunday night? Check out our live blog below following kickoff to find out.