After a disheartening Week 1 defeat at the hands of the Cleveland Browns, the Cincinnati Bengals are eager to regain their footing as they face the Baltimore Ravens at home in Week 2.
A victory in this game would reinvigorate their season and prevent a repeat of their 0-2 start from 2022. Conversely, a loss would not only result in another 0-2 record but also mean dropping two divisional games right out of the gate. Here are six key players to watch in Week 2:
- Joe Burrow, Quarterback: Starting with the obvious, Burrow had a tough outing in Week 1 against the Browns. A combination of inclement weather, a nagging calf injury, lack of training camp, and preseason reps with his receivers, along with a formidable Browns defense, all contributed to his subpar performance. However, Burrow has a history of bouncing back from adversity, and we can expect him to show significant improvement in Week 2.
- Joe Mixon, Running Back: Mixon displayed promise in Week 1, but he didn’t get enough opportunities to shine. With just 13 carries in the game, the Bengals leaned more towards passing as the game progressed. If the game plan allows, we should see Mixon get more touches, especially if Burrow is still finding his rhythm.
- Tee Higgins, Wide Receiver: Higgins, who is in the final year of his contract, struggled to connect with Burrow in Week 1, despite being targeted eight times without a reception. Re-establishing chemistry between Higgins and Burrow will be crucial, especially if the Ravens’ offense forces the Bengals to throw the ball frequently.
- Germaine Pratt and Logan Wilson, Linebackers: Containing the dynamic Lamar Jackson is a daunting task, and it largely falls on the shoulders of Pratt and Wilson. As one of the NFL’s premier linebacker duos, they’ll need to excel in preventing Jackson from breaking free. Their contracts extending through 2025 make them a formidable force in Cincinnati’s defense.
- Mike Hilton, Cornerback: In Week 1, the Ravens secured a win against the Houston Texans, primarily relying on their rushing attack. However, rookie wide receiver Zay Flowers had a notable performance, catching nine passes for 78 yards. Hilton, who lines up against slot receivers, will likely be tasked with containing Flowers. This matchup could be a key storyline in the game, as Hilton aims to limit Flowers’ impact.
As the Bengals strive to rebound from their Week 1 disappointment, these six players will play pivotal roles in determining their success against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 2.
Disclaimer: The views, suggestions, and opinions expressed here are the sole responsibility of the experts. No North Headlines journalist was involved in the writing and production of this article.