After having met three times during the 2012 calendar year, the Cincinnati Bengals and Baltimore Ravens face off for the first and only time in 2013 today at M&T Bank Stadium. The 3-5 Ravens won the first two outings last year, but considering the 6-3 Bengals won the third and now have a much better record going into today’s 1pm EST / 10am PST game on CBS, they appear poised to even the two-year series at two games each. There are a few storylines to follow in this one, so if you can’t see the game live on CBS, you can watch Bengals vs Ravens online free using one of several different methods.
No conversation about the Ravens can start this season without mentioning quarterback Joe Flacco. Hot off his Super Bowl MVP trophy and Baltimore’s Super Bowl win to send off Ray Lewis in style, Flacco signed a massive contract that he even subtly gloated about at one point this summer. What a difference an off-season makes. Through eight weeks, Flacco has done anything but live up to his contract and superstar status, nabbing just the 19th QBR quarterback ranking and going 184-310 for 2,167 yards and 10 touchdowns.
By comparison, Bengals QB Andy Dalton has had a great season, going 215-332 for 2,587 yards and 16 touchdowns, good enough for a 13th spot on ESPN’s QBR list. Whereas Flacco has been called a flop so far in the 2013 NFL season, Dalton has been nothing if not solid, leading his team to a seventh-ranked passing game and ninth-ranked overall offense. So far this season, in fact, the Bengals have averaged almost 60 more yards per game than the Ravens, not to mention three more points and nearly six percentage points higher in third-down conversion percentage.
It’s not just the offense you’ll see if you watch Bengals vs Ravens online free though, because particularly if you pay attention to Cincinnati. The Ravens have a solid defense, ranking a respectable 10th in the league so far this season. Considering they lost linebacker Ray Lewis to retirement after the Super Bowl, that’s an impressive ranking. Yet the Bengals have the NFL’s fifth-rated defense so far this year, allowing almost 15 fewer yards per game and three fewer points than the Ravens.
Things haven’t exactly gotten any easier for the Ravens defense, either, with All-Pro defensive tackle Geno Atkins gone for the season with an ACL injury. Before going down for the year, Atkins had a team-high six sacks, looking to continue the career-best pace he set last season, when he had 12.5 sacks. Instead of anchoring the Ravens defense, though, he’s joining cornerback Leon Hall, safety Taylor Mays and defensive end Robert Geathers on Baltimore’s injured list — not a good place to be today against the league’s ninth-rated offense.
To see whose defense wins out, or which of the two quarterbacks actually earns his paycheck, you can watch Bengals vs Ravens online free on DirecTV’s website. You’ll need to have the NFL Sunday Ticket Package, which requires a subscription, but anyone who has one can watch the live streaming version free of any game, including today’s 1pm EST / 10am PST NFL game between the Cincinnati Bengals and Baltimore Ravens.