Each Wednesday, blogger Jon Meoli highlights five stats that really mean something for the Ravens.
Seven – Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton was picked off seven times in two games against Baltimore, representing over a third of his regular season total of 21. Dalton has thrown 11 career interceptions against the Ravens, the most of any opponent. His 62.4 passer rating in six career games against the Ravens is third-worst against any team he has faced, and well down from his career mark of 85.7. Whether Dalton can turn that around will likely depend on who exactly he’s facing in the secondary, with cornerbacks Jimmy Smith, Lardarius Webb, and Asa Jackson all back at practice. If the Ravens can get him off the field with turnovers as they have in the past, it could go a long way to starting the season off well.
15 – Likewise, Flacco hasn’t had his best career numbers against the Bengals, with a career-high 15 picks in 12 games against the Bengals. Of course, counting stats will be higher when you play a lot of games against a team, but Flacco just hasn’t had the success he’s had against other divisional foes against Cincinnati. His 71.2 career passer rating against the Bengals is his fifth-worst, and the Bengals are one of the fewer teams against whom he’s thrown more picks than touchdowns. These two defenses seem to have the opposing offense’s number. However...
1,732 – In four games at the helm of the Houston Texans, Gary Kubiak’s offenses gained a combined 1,732 and scored 102 points in four games against the Bengals. The Texans won 35-6 in 2008, 28-17 in 2009, 20-19 in 2011, and 19-13 in the Wild Card round of the 2012 playoffs. Many of those yards were racked up through the air, though in the 2012 playoff game, the Texans ran for 158 yards and a score.
4.28 – Ravens running back Bernard Pierce has his fifth highest yards-per-carry average against the Bengals, highlighted by a 22-carry, 89-yard output in Week 17 in 2012. Pierce will carry the primary load at running back with Ray Rice suspended for the first two games, and Pierce will be charged with setting the tone for a presumably run-heavy offense.
14 – The Ravens have won their last 14 home games in September, a streak dating back to 2006, and are tied atop the league with a 14-6 September record since 2008. Additionally, the Ravens have won four straight at home against Cincinnati. Whether either of those streaks continue might have more to do with how much the Bengals offense improved this year, as opposed to where the Ravens are at on either side of the ball.