Cincinnati Parlaying Turnover Edge Into Wins

History in the Bengals-Ravens series has shown that the turnover edge usually proves pivotal in the outcome of the game. How seriously do the Bengals take turnovers? Look no further than Jeremy Hill's benching last week after he lost the handle twice. He could be on a short leash Sunday. Here's why.

Through the first two games, Sunday's participants in Baltimore have taken different paths toward team efficiency, or lack of it.

The 2-0 Bengals enter play at plus-3 in turnover differential (five takeaways, two giveaways), ranked third in the NFL. The 0-2 Ravens are minus-2 (two takeaways, four giveaways), ranked tied for 24th.

In 17 Bengals-Ravens games in the Marvin Lewis era when the turnover differential has not been even, the team on the plus side of the turnover battle is 16-1.

The Bengals are 8-0 against the Ravens when they are on the plus side of turnovers, and 1-8 on the minus side.

The Ravens are 8-1 with a plus and 0-8 with a minus.

In seven games under Lewis with the turnovers even, the Bengals lead, 5-2.

Since Lewis took over in 2003, the Bengals rank tied for seventh with the Ravens in the NFL in turnover differential (plus-40). Prior to Lewis, the Bengals posted a minus turnover differential five straight years (1998-2002).

Since 2003, NFL teams with just a plus-1 differential have won 69.3 percent of their games. At plus-2, the percentage has been 82.7. Teams with any plus from 1-5 have won 79.6 percent of the time.

The Bengals are 14-10 against the Ravens under Lewis. The series shows a historical edge for the home team, Baltimore leading 13-6 at home and the Bengals leading 12-7 at home.

The Bengals won last year at Baltimore in the season opener. The Bengals host the Ravens in the 2015 regular-season finale, Jan. 3. Four of the last five meetings have been decided by seven or fewer points.

Play inside the 20 also will be critical. The Bengals have shown well there so far, while the Ravens have struggled.

The Bengals lead the NFL in offensive red-zone possessions, with 10. They are tied for first in total red-zone scores, with nine. They have six red-zone TDs, two off the NFL lead.

Andy Dalton ranks third among active NFL passers in ratio of red-zone touchdowns to interceptions (minimum of 25 red-zone touchdowns). He has thrown for 72 TDs and just three interceptions on snaps inside the opponent 20-yard line, a ratio of 24-to-1. The leader is Aaron Rodgers of Green Bay.

Baltimore has struggled to finish red-zone drives, with only two touchdowns in seven chances, ranking 30th in offensive TD percentage.

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