The Bengals are the reigning AFC North champions and went a perfect 6-0 against division foes last season. The Ravens have won three playoff games in the last two years, and outlasted Cincinnati in the postseason in 2009.
Yeah, there might be a little bit of pride on the line this weekend when these two teams square off.
The first big AFC North battle of the season will take place on Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, and come Monday morning, we'll have a better idea of where these two division powers stand.
Here's how the Ravens and Bengals match up statistically after Week 1:
Ravens: 282.0 (23rd)
Bengals: 428.0 (3rd)
Ravens: 49.0 (t-29th)
Bengals: 87.0 (23rd)
Ravens: 233.0 (13th)
Bengals: 341.0 (3rd)
Ravens: 176.0 (3rd)
Bengals: 376.0 (t-25th)
Ravens: 116.0 (20th)
Bengals: 118.0 (t-21st)
Ravens: 60.0 (1st)
Bengals: 258.0 (t-24th)
Ravens: -2 (t-30th)
Bengals: -2 (t-30th)
Now, you can't take too much from these numbers because we're obviously only one game into the season.
But it's clear that the Bengals are capable of putting up some big offensive numbers, and their defense is stronger than the above statistics represent.
As I work into my prediction for this contest, let me start by saying this: I think the Ravens are a better team than the Bengals.
If Cincinnati had beaten the Patriots last weekend, or even lost in a less embarrassing fashion than they did, I'd take the Ravens to earn another big win on the road. But Marvin Lewis' gang got stomped on by Tom Brady and the Pats, and they'll be incredibly fired up this Sunday as they return home to face their division rivals.
In addition, the Ravens are working on a short week and are coming off a physically and emotionally draining win over the Jets, and there's a chance that they don't recover quickly enough for this one.
With all that said, put me down for a 24-20 Bengals win, and feel free to rub it in my face if the Ravens pick up another road "W" this weekend.
What are your thoughts on this contest? Who do you see coming out on top?