Through five weeks of football, the AFC North has a combined record of 6-14. Three teams deploy a passing bottom-10 offense according to Football Outsider’s DVOA metric, and those same three teams all have bottom-six offenses in terms of expected points contributed. Classic AFC North football indeed.
The team that’s at least making something of itself is the Baltimore Ravens. Their 3-2 record currently leads the division by just a single game, and despite hitting a rough patch these last few games, they’re still an above average team overall.
The Ravens will try tighten their grip on the North when they host the last-place Cincinnati Bengals this week in Baltimore.
That last place title doesn’t just apply for the division, or the entire conference, even. Since the Miami Dolphins were on a bye last week, the 0-5 Bengals took sole place as the worst team in the NFL according to the updated NFL Draft order. As predicted, the tank isn’t—willing—as strong in Cincinnati as it is in Miami, but the losing is about at the same level.
Three close loses are what has kept the Bengals’ average margin of defeat from plummeting below the current mark of -11.2, which is still bad enough to be the fourth-worst in the league. In the 16 meetings since 2011 between the Bengals and the Ravens, 11 of them concluded as one-score games. What’s the current Vegas line for this game?
-11, Favoring the Ravens.
As two-score underdogs heading into a division rival’s territory, the Bengals are entering a harsh portion of their schedule. Will the losing persist, or does Zac Taylor finally see his first W as head coach? Follow this stream for all the latest updates between the Bengals and Ravens.