Thursday Night Football Showdown: Ravens vs. Bengals in AFC North Battle

Preview and predictions for the Thursday Night NFL matchup between the Bengals and Ravens.

Betting preview for the Thursday Night NFL matchup between the Bengals and Ravens

The NFL's Week 11 kicks off with a highly anticipated Thursday Night Football clash between the Baltimore Ravens and the Cincinnati Bengals at M&T Bank Stadium. This pivotal AFC North matchup has significant implications for both teams as they jockey for position in a fiercely competitive division.

Thursday Night NFL preview Bengals RavensDivisional Standings and Recent Form

The Ravens enter the game leading the AFC North with a 7-3 record, facing tough competition from the 6-3 Steelers and Browns. Despite a challenging 33-31 loss to the Browns in their previous outing, the Ravens maintain a narrow half-game lead. On the other side, the Bengals, sitting at 5-4, trail the Ravens by just 1.5 games. Their recent 30-27 defeat to the Texans added urgency to their quest for a win on TNF.

Ravens' Dominant Running Game

Baltimore showcases a formidable running game, leading the league with an impressive 154.9 rushing yards per game. Quarterback Lamar Jackson and running back Gus Edwards are the driving forces behind this ground attack, with Edwards boasting team-leading stats of 502 rushing yards and eight touchdowns. The Ravens emphasized their running game in their Week 2 encounter against the Bengals, securing a 27-24 victory with 178 rushing yards.

Bengals' Struggles and Defensive Challenges

The Bengals find themselves at the bottom of the league in rushing, ranking last in both rushing yards and attempts. Bengals Thursday Night previewDespite their 5-4 record, criticism has surrounded the team for questionable play-calling and a perceived lack of support for quarterback Joe Burrow. The Ravens' defense has emerged as a formidable unit, ranking second-best in the league, allowing only 273.6 yards per game. Their balanced performance extended to scoring, ranking fifth in scoring offense (27 points per game) and best in scoring defense (15.7 points allowed per game).

Offensive and Defensive Performance

While the Ravens' offense ranks 20th in passing yards, their defensive prowess is evident in allowing the fewest passing yards per game. Efficiency characterizes their game, with a 44.1% third-down conversion rate on offense and a 36.4% rate on defense. Holding the 10th position in turnover margin, the Ravens have forced 15 turnovers, while committing 14.

The Bengals face challenges in total yards per game (301.7) and defensive struggles, surrendering 384 total yards per contest. Their offense averages 20.2 points per game, while the defense has allowed 21.3 points per game. In passing, the Bengals rank 16th offensively and 24th defensively. Struggles continue in rushing, ranking worst in yards per game and third-worst in yards surrendered.

Turnover Margin and Urgency for Redemption

In addition to their statistical prowess, the Bengals boast the best turnover margin in the league, having forced 18 turnovers while committing only 10. However, defensive shortcomings are apparent in their yards allowed per pass and rush. Both teams are in pursuit of redemption, the Ravens aim to bounce back from their loss to the Browns and strengthen their division lead, while the Bengals strive to remain competitive in the AFC North race despite their recent setback against the Texans.

Injuries and Player Updates

Injuries play a significant role in the upcoming clash, with key players on both teams facing potential absences. Ravens Thursday Night football previewCincinnati's Sam Hubbard, Trey Hendrickson, Tee Higgins, and Andre Iosivas are dealing with various injuries, raising concerns about their availability, Charlie Jones, and Cam Taylor-Britt, dealing with thumb and finger injuries, have practiced fully. Notably, Higgins was likely out, potentially impacting the Bengals' receiving group.

The Ravens left tackle Ronnie Stanley, linebacker Trenton Simpson and cornerback Marlon Humphrey all missed practice due to knee, concussion, and calf issues, respectively, for the Ravens. Linebacker Kyle Van Noy and cornerback Daryl Worley have been limited in practice, dealing with groin and hamstring injuries.

Thursday Night NFL Odds (provided by BetAnySports)

Spread: Bengals +3.5 (-110) / Ravens -3.5 (-110)
Money line: Bengals +165 / Ravens -190

As the Ravens and Bengals prepare for their Thursday Night Football showdown, both teams face high stakes. Baltimore aims to bounce back from their setback against the Browns and maintain their division lead, while the Bengals seek to stay competitive and enhance their chances of winning the AFC North. The outcome of the TNF game will likely hinge on the performance of key players, particularly those dealing with injuries, and the ability of both teams to address their respective strengths and weaknesses on the field. Football fans eagerly anticipated a thrilling contest that could reshape the landscape of the AFC North division.

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