The Baltimore Ravens have won four straight games and are fresh off a convincing win over the previously unbeaten New England Patriots. The next test for Baltimore is to avoid overlooking the host Cincinnati Bengals, the last remaining winless team in the NFL.
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The Ravens stamped themselves as a Super Bowl contender with the fierce 37-20 victory over the Patriots and coach John Harbaugh is hoping the signature win will propel his team to greater heights. "It's probably more than a good win. It's behind us now," Harbaugh told reporters. "These players have been great with that, and I expect them to be even better. I expect (defeating New England) is going to motivate them and excite them." The porous Bengals pulled the plug on longtime starting quarterback Andy Dalton and fourth-round draft choice Ryan Finley will be making his first NFL start. "I think I'm ready for it," Finley told reporters. "I'm confident in my ability to play, and I'm confident in this team's ability to bounce back and get some wins."
TV: 1 p.m. ET, CBS. LINE: Ravens -10. O/U: 44.5
ABOUT THE RAVENS (6-2): Quarterback Lamar Jackson, who missed practice Thursday with an illness that won't prevent him from playing, has turned the team into an offensive juggernaut that leads the NFL in scoring offense (31.4) and ranks second in total offense (427.0). The second-year pro has passed for 1,813 yards, 12 touchdowns and five interceptions and has been dazzling with his running ability as he has a sterling 6.4 average while producing 637 yards and five scores. Cornerback Marlon Humphrey has returned fumbles for touchdowns in each of the past two games while outside linebacker Matthew Judon leads the club with four sacks.
ABOUT THE BENGALS (0-8): Receiver A.J. Green (ankle) was hoping to make his season debut but the seven-time Pro Bowl selection suffered a setback Wednesday and declared himself out for the game one day later. "I'm a competitor. I want to play, but sometimes you go through these bumps in the road, that you've got to stay focused," Green told reporters Thursday. "You've got to look at the long-term picture. I've got to make sure I can play for another five years without having to worry about this thing, not just thinking of the now." The Cincinnati offense ranks 29th in scoring (15.5) and 25th in total offense (317.9) and the turnover margin of minus-9 isn't helping a defense ranks last in yardage allowed (435.8) and 24th in scoring defense (26.3).
1. Jackson passed for 236 yards and rushed for a career-best 152 as the Ravens prevailed 23-17 over the Bengals on Oct. 13.
2. Cincinnati RB Joe Mixon (320 yards) had 10 on eight carries in the first meeting with Baltimore.
3. Humphrey has five takeaways (three fumble recoveries, two interceptions) this season.