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The Cincinnati Bengals might be coming to Baltimore with a 4-11 record, but they also have a right to come with their heads held high.
The Ravens have lost three-straight times to their AFC North rival, and while it is probably a stretch to say the Bengals currently hold Baltimore’s number on speed dial, the results don’t lie.
“They have beaten us the last three times, but this game has a little bit more to it,” said Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs. “We’re in Baltimore, that’s one. We’re playing for our 12th win. We’re playing for the possibility of getting the second seed in the playoffs, and we’re playing for the division. So, a lot of that has its advantages, especially in preparing.
“But yeah, it’s fair to say they’ve had their way with us. Hey, wins and losses… They’ve won the last three. That’s all we can really go by.”
When asked for a reason why, Suggs pointed a finger at Cincinnati quarterback Carson Palmer first.
Suggs, an Arizona State product, played against Palmer when the signal-caller attended USC, so the two have a long history.
And Palmer’s history against the Ravens is impeccable. As a starter against Baltimore, Palmer is 9-3, including a 4-2 mark at M&T Bank Stadium.
“I’ve been playing against this man since college, and I don’t think I have a winning record against him,” Suggs noted. “I don’t sleep much when I’m playing against this guy.”
Of course, there have been other reasons. Running back Cedric Benson gashed the Ravens twice last year for over 100 yards. The Ravens have coughed up several turnovers to the tune of eight interceptions in the last three meetings.
The Ravens nearly broke the trend in Week 2, taking a 10-9 lead into the fourth quarter at Paul Brown Stadium before allowing two field goals with under five minutes remaining.
After that, however, the Bengals’ season completely derailed. They dropped 10 consecutive contests, even though they have bounced back with a two-game win streak.
Regardless, the Ravens are expecting the best from their opponent.
“I don’t know what happened against every other team, but they tend to play their best football against the Ravens,” said running back Ray Rice.
“We’re expecting a challenge. One thing that we know as a team is that they’re the Bengals – they beat us three times in a row so far. And if we take care of our business against them, we’re setting ourselves up. We’re in the playoffs, but we’re setting ourselves up, if certain things happen, for a great chance.”