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Bengals Host Ravens Sunday In Regular Season Finale At Paul Brown Stadium

The Bengals attempt to close the schedule by creating momentum for the playoffs with a season-ending win against the visiting Ravens

WHAT: Ravens (5-10) at Bengals (11-4)

WHEN: Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET

WHERE: at Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati

TV: FOX. Announcers: Thom Brennaman, Charles Davis, Tony Siragusa

BENGALS KEYS: Offensive coordinator Hue Jackson declared it "all hands on deck" after QB AJ McCarron (sprained wrist) and TE Tyler Eifert (concussion) were cleared to practice midweek. Cincinnati has more downfield weapons than Baltimore's secondary can cope with, but look for Jackson to come out with a heavy dose of RBs Jeremy Hill and Gio Bernard in an attempt to control the clock and force the Ravens to drive the length of the field.

With McCarron ailing and Ravens coach John Harbaugh taking an extended look at a slew of young players, the Bengals' main priority is simply protecting the ball. It's no coincidence that Cincinnati's offense began to sputter in Denver right around the time Ryan Hewitt left with a knee injury that leaves his availability for the postseason in doubt. TE CJ Uzomah, a rookie, will again be pressed into extended duty as the blocking tight end.

RAVENS KEYS: Ravens QB Ryan Mallett performed admirably in last week's upset against Pittsburgh - becoming Baltimore's fourth different starting quarterback in a six-week span. But moving the ball against the Bengals' far superior defense on the road is a different matter. Mallett has a rifle for an arm, but he too often tries to force balls into very tight windows and Cincinnati enters with a plus-nine turnover differential on the strength of 19 interceptions.

The Bengals are highly motivated by the prospect of securing a first-round bye, which could help get QB Andy Dalton back for their playoff opener, but the Ravens continue to play extremely hard.

MATCHUP: Ravens RT Rick Wagner vs. Bengals DE Carlos Dunlap: Wagner shook off a lingering knee injury to play one of his best games against Pittsburgh last week. He'll face one of his biggest challenges of the season in Dunlap, who is coming off a monster three-sack, four-QB hit game at Denver in just 55 snaps on defense.

RAVENS FAST FACT: WR Kamar Aiken needs five catches to set the franchise record for consecutive games (nine) with at least five receptions. He's currently tied with Derrick Mason (eight games in 2007).

BENGALS FAST FACT: WR A.J. Green has 28 catches for 570 yards and five touchdowns in the past four meetings, including 227 in the last meeting.


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