Ravens need to end road woes against Bengals
GAME DAY EARLY BIRD – Waking up with the Ravens on game day in Cincinnati.
CINCINNATI – This is either going to be a terrific day, or a terrible day for the Ravens. Make the playoffs, and it’s a terrific day. Miss the playoffs, and it’s a terrible day. There is no middle ground.
The weather: Sunday’s forecast in Cincinnati is unusually mild, calling for a high of 50 degrees, with a 50 percent chance of rain. The situation: The Bengals (10-5) are in the playoffs, win or lose, but could be seeded anywhere from No. 2 to No. 4. There is already a sign outside Paul Brown Stadium, letting fans know that playoff tickets are on sale. The Ravens (8-7) hope they are selling playoff tickets soon. But they need a win, coupled with either a loss by the Dolphins or the Chargers to make the playoffs. If the Ravens lose, they can only make the playoffs if the Dolphins, Chargers, and Steelers all lose as well.
The injuries: The Bengals could be without their top two tight ends, Tyler Eifert (neck) and Jermaine Gresham (hamstring). If they both sit out, quarterback Andy Dalton will miss them. The Ravens had five players listed as questionable on Friday – Arthur Jones (concussion), Ray Rice (thigh), Torrey Smith (thigh), Gino Gradkowski (knee), and Elvis Dumevil (ankle). All of them hoped to play, but Jones did not practice all week, and it would not be shocking if Jones did not play.
Morning thought: “They’re the division champs, they’re 7-0 at home, they’ve got good players, they’ve got very good coaches. What they’ve done this year speaks for itself, so we’ve got our hands full.” Ravens coach John Harbaugh talking about today’s game.