Bengals-Ravens Clash Pits Recent Masteries

The Ravens have won eight of their past nine home openers, with Cincinnati's 23-16 win last season the lone blemish. The Bengals have been on a recent roll against Baltimore. Something on Sunday has to give.

Baltimore is 8-1 in its last nine home openers with Cincinnati's 23-16 win last season the lone blemish.

That remains the only home September loss for Ravens coach John Harbaugh. Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco is 17-9 (.654) in September in his career.

However, Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton is even better in September. He's 11-5 (.688).

Also of note, the Ravens haven't allowed a 100-yard rusher in 28 consecutive games. The Bengals haven't done it against Baltimore since 2009, when Cedric Benson performed the feat.

That's a long time ago.

All of it is a concern for the 2-0 Bengals.

“This week at Baltimore, we’ve got a football team that is well-coached. They have a lot of good players, a lot of weapons. The season didn't start the way they wanted, but it’s their home opener, and we know they will be ready to play," Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said.

The coach said the mantra is the same: Play smart.

"We’ve got to go play very good football, better football than we played the first two weeks, to go up there and win," said Lewis. "It will be an important contest for us."

This is the Bengals' AFC North Division schedule opener.

"It starts the division games for us," Lewis said. "We all know what we have to get done. We have to have a great week of preparation. Better than good, got to be great.”

Kickoff is 1 p.m. at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore. A Bengals win would put them three games ahead of the 0-2 Ravens in the division.

The Bengals have won three straight against the Ravens.

“Those three times really don’t matter, what matters is this week," Lewis said. "We know things we have to do, and that’s take care of our quarterback, take care of our football and do great things against them in the running game. Not allow them to run the football. It’s a simple formula. You ask me that every week, I give you the same answers.”

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