The Baltimore Ravens are back in control of the AFC North, but no one seems to be running away with the division. The Ravens will try to pad their lead when they host the winless Cincinnati Bengals in their third consecutive divisional challenge.
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Baltimore squandered an opportunity with a 40-25 loss at home to Cleveland in Week 4 but bounced back by outlasting Pittsburgh 26-23 in overtime last week and needs continued improvement from quarterback Lamar Jackson, who totaled five interceptions in the last two contests. "He's thinking 100 percent about the plays he could have made, should have made, thought he should have made, what the defense was, what the next play call is going to be," Ravens coach John Harbaugh told reporters of Jackson. "And to me, as a quarterback, that's a really good trait and one of the reasons that makes him who he is." The Bengals have their own problems on offense and rank 31st in the NFL in red zone efficiency, scoring four touchdowns in 14 trips. "You can look at a couple specific plays," first-year coach Zac Taylor told reporters when asked about the red zone issues. "We just have to make the play when the opportunity is there. We feel like there are opportunities there, we just have to step up and make the play. Everything is involved in that. So, that's where we're at."
TV: 1 p.m. ET, CBS. LINE: Ravens -10.5. O/U: 48
ABOUT THE BENGALS (0-5): Cincinnati's red zone offense has been missing a big piece all season in Pro Bowl wide receiver A.J. Green, who missed the first five games with an ankle injury and remains out despite returning to practice on Thursday. "He's a big part of this team, a big part of this organization," Taylor told reporters of Green, who has been the subject of trade rumors. "When he comes back, he'll be a big boost for us. l love being around the guy. Love everything about him. So, we want him around here." The Bengals are also missing wideout John Ross III (shoulder), leaving Tyler Boyd (37 catches, 406 yards, one TD) as quarterback Andy Dalton's top target.
ABOUT THE RAVENS (3-2): Baltimore spent the first month of the season dealing with injury issues in the secondary and lost safety Tony Jefferson (knee) for the season in last week's win. Backup Chuck Clark is expected to step into Jefferson's starting spot alongside veteran Earl Thomas, with DeShon Elliott taking on a bigger role as well. "We're building that chemistry and it starts with communication," Clark told reporters. "You get a feel for it in practice and then it carries over into games. It's a process but I've been here long enough to feel comfortable in this defense. ... I've been waiting for this for three years. Now it's here. It's time to take advantage."
1. Bengals LT Andre Smith (ankle) is questionable for Sunday, and G Alex Redmond is a candidate to start in his place on the line.
2. Ravens K Justin Tucker is 10-of-10 in field-goal attempts and 15-of-15 on extra-point tries.
3. The teams split the two-game series in each of the last three seasons, with the home team taking both meetings in 2018.
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Key Players to Watch
- FingerQues Sun | questionable
Moore has missed the past three games due to a broken finger, and it is uncertain if he will return versus the Washington Football Team on Sunday.
- ShoulderQues Sun | questionable
Stanley is dealing with a shoulder injury, and it has yet to be established if he will be active against the Washington Football Team on Sunday.
- KneeQues Sun | questionable
Madubuike has sat out the previous three games with a knee injury. It is unknown if he will return to the fold Sunday versus the Washington Football Team.
- ThighQues Sun | questionable
Hill has been held out the last three games with a thigh injury, and it is unclear if he will make his season debut against the Washington Football team on Sunday.
- AbdominalProb Mon | probable
Levine Sr. has an abdominal injury, but he is likely to play against the Chiefs on Monday.
- ShoulderProb Mon | probable
Fluker is saddled with a shoulder injury, but he is projected to be in Monday's lineup versus the Chiefs.
- AnkleProb Mon | probable
Stanley left the previous game with an ankle injury, but he is expected to take part in Monday's battle against the Chiefs.
- KneeI-R | I-R
Young has been added to the injured reserve list due to a torn ACL in his left knee.
- HamstringOut indefinitely | I-R
Calitro will be on the injured reserve for an extended period due to a hamstring injury.
- ShoulderQues Sun | questionable
Atkins has sat out the past three games due to a shoulder injury, and it is unclear if he will make his season debut Sunday versus the Jaguars.
- RibsQues Sun | questionable
Alexander is bothered by a rib injury, and it is unknown if he will be available for Sunday's clash with the Jaguars.
- ConcussionQues Sun | questionable
Wilson is experiencing concussion-like symptoms, and it is undetermined if he will be active against the Jaguars on Sunday.
- GroinDoub Sun | doubtful
Daniels was held out of the previous game with a groin injury, and it is unlikely that he will suit up Sunday versus the Eagles.
- PersonalProb Sun | probable
Sims has been absent from the lineup during the last two games due to a personal matter, but he is likely to take the field against the Eagles on Sunday.
- CalfQues Sun | questionable
Williams has missed the last two games with a calf injury, and it is unclear if he will be available Sunday against the Eagles.
- AchillesI-R | I-R
Uzomah has hit the injured reserve list a torn right Achilles.