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Ravens head coach John Harbaugh praises Cincinnati's roster strength

After last week's disappointing loss to the Raiders on the road, Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh was asked about his thoughts on their upcoming foe--the Cincinnati Bengals. Harbaugh was candid with his praise.

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As the Cincinnati Bengals and Baltimore Ravens prepare to meet each other on Sunday for their first divisional match-up of the 2015 season, the respective squads are heading in two very different directions. Both teams started the season against two AFC West teams and have come with very different results.

The Bengals demolished the Oakland Raiders on the road with a 20-point victory and followed that win up with another quality one for their home opener against the San Diego Chargers. The Bengals' embattled quarterback has been playing lights out and the defense looks rejuvenated from last season. In short, cautious optimism is spilling over in Bengaldom.

It's not the same sentiment in Baltimore, though. The NFL's bad boys have had two tough road losses to the Denver Broncos and Oakland Raiders, while suffering some big personnel losses. Rookie Breshad Perriman has yet to see the field with a knee issue, while Terrell Suggs, Matt Elam and Brent Urban have all been placed on Injured Reserve. In their home opener against Cincinnati, it might be an early do-or-die situation for the Ravens' 2015 season.

In his postgame press conference after their loss to Oakland, Baltimore head coach John Harbaugh was asked about the Bengals, who had secured a 2-0 start earlier in the day. According to local media members, Harbaugh simply made the proclamation that "The Bengals are the most talented team in the league." Pro Bowl guard Marshall Yanda added "We have Cincinnati coming to town and they're playing good football."

Since Harbaugh became the head coach of the Ravens before the 2008 season, the teams have split the series right down the middle at 7-7. It's been the same kind of story with Andy Dalton taking over as the Bengals' quarterback with his 4-4 record against Baltimore, including a sweep in the 2014 season.

This Sunday's game is an interesting one. There is little doubt the Ravens will be hungry and desperate in front of their home crowd, but will their big injuries on defense make an impact for a Bengals offense firing on all cylinders? Based on the comments from Harbaugh and Ravens players, they aren't going to be taking the Bengals lightly as they walk into the gates of M & T Bank Stadium for the Ravens home opener.