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Prediction Friday: Ravens look to bounce back vs. Bengals

The Ravens are coming off their third loss to a team that's below .500 for the season. That may not bode well for the young, but surprising Cincinnati Bengals. 

Baltimore has been able to bounce back each time they've lost a game this season and a win Sunday will put them in the driver's seat in the AFC playoff race. That should be enough motivation for Baltimore.

Where the Ravens may have some problems is on defense. Inside linebacker Ray Lewis is expected to be out this Sunday. The obvious substitutions for Lewis in the Ravens' 3-4 base defense would be either Dannell Ellerbe or Brendon Ayanbadejo. A solution that I've been thinking of, though, would be maybe shift to a 4-3 defense.

The Ravens could have Terrell Suggs and Cory Redding put their hands in the dirt as defense ends and put in Paul Kruger as the other outside linebacker. That would be fun to watch, I think.

I would also expect a heavy dose of Ray Rice on the offensive side of the ball. Quarterback Joe Flacco has been slinging it all over the field lately, but the Ravens will get back to their ground game.

This game should end something like 21-10 Ravens.


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