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Old 12-04-2003, 12:33 PM   #1
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Default Gigantic Game on the Horizon this Week

On December 7th the first place Cincinnati Bengals and the Baltimore Ravens will square off against each other in Baltimore. Cincinnati won the first meeting between the two teams in Cincinnati, 34-26 on October 19th.

Quarterback Jon Kitna is having a fine season for the Bengals. He has a 61 percent completion ratio and has passed for 22 touchdowns against only nine interceptions. One reason for his success is receiver Chad Johnson who has caught 71 passes for 1,105 yards and nine touchdowns. Johnson ranks second in the AFC in receptions, only behind Pittsburgh's Hines Ward, who has 78 receptions.

Running back Rudi Johnson, who played his college ball for Auburn has been a pleasant surprise for the Bengals so far this season, rushing for 701 yards. Corey Dillon has been injured most of the season and only has 385 yards rushing. Dillon hasn't been missed much.

Cincinnati ranks third in the AFC in total offense. the Bengals are averaging 343.4 yards per game. But their defense ranks 11th in the AFC allowing 334.6 yards per game. They must improve their defense to make it to the playoffs or at least advance in the playoffs. Linebacker Brian Simmons leads the team with 81 tackles.

As for Baltimore their defense is second to none. The Ravens rank third in the AFC in overall defense, allowing 281.9 yards per game. The Denver Broncos are surprisingly the top ranked defense in the AFC. Linebacker Ray Lewis leads the team and the NFL with 130 overall tackles. He is a mandog.

The Ravens have never really been known for their offense, but quarterback Anthony Wright has brought the offense to life lately.

Wright is in his fifth year in the NFL. Wright played his college ball for South Carolina. In Baltimore's last two games he has helped lead his team to victory.

Running back Jamal Lewis leads the NFL in rushing with 1,442 yards. What a year he is having.

Baltimore beat San Francisco last week 44-6 at home and defeated Seattle two weeks ago 44-41 in overtime at home.

So this should be a very exciting game. I must pick Baltimore to win this game only because of their great defense. I say Baltimore 27-23 over Cincinnati.

Ray Lewis should be able to hold Rudi Johnson and Corey Dillon to a minimum of yards. But can they stop the passing of Jon Kitna? Only this Sunday will tell us. Though I wouldn't be shocked if Cincinnati wins again.
Keith "baseball nut" Thronson
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