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Former Baltimore Raven Says Cincinnati Bengals Better Bring Their a Game

November 16th, 2011 at 8:19 AM
By Chuck Chapman

 Fabian Washington spent three years as a starting cornerback with the Baltimore Ravens. He's seen up close how the Ravens prepare and says the Cincinnati Bengals had better be prepared to receive the Raven's "A game" when the two meet Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore.

Washington said Bengals fans shouldn't be reading too much into last week's surprising loss in Seattle. He thinks Baltimore will be right back at it this week, preparing like they always do. He admitted, however, that when it comes to playing divisional rivals like Pittsburgh and Cincinnati, "we bring a little extra juice." Washington said the importance of these divisional games can't be overstated, so look for the Ravens to rebound from their Seattle loss and bring their best effort against Cincinnati on Sunday.

As for what's ailing his former team which has now dropped three road games to opponents with losing records, Washington says it's the "little things." 

"It's stuff I'm not accustomed to seeing, like turnovers. In the past, when Baltimore's supposed to win, they win. I'm not sure what it is, but I know it's not a focus issue. Nobody prepares like this team."

Washington went on to say that he was perplexed by the Ravens' play calling Sunday which saw Joe Flacco throw the ball 52 times while Ray Rice only carried five times. 

"I'm no offensive coordinator and I don't pretend to be, but if I was the coach, Rice would run until his legs fell off. If I was offensive coordinator, Ray Rice would get 30 touches a game. I don't care what it took."

Washington said he had fond memories of his matchups against Cincinnati and that they were always "entertaining" with him matched up against the likes of Chad Ochocinco, TJ Houshmandzadeh, and Terrell Owens over the years. He said there was always a lot of trash talking going on and had high praise for Carson Palmer, crediting him for the Bengals success against the Ravens during the Marvin Lewis era.

"It's pretty simple. For the most part, if Carson wasn't playing, the Ravens won. He's a great NFL quarterback who can make a lot of big plays."

Indeed, Carson Palmer was 9-4 as a Bengals starter against Baltimore, so rookie quarterback Andy Dalton has some big shoes to fill in that regard.

As for what's different with Cincinnati this year, Washington credited the Bengals youthful "hunger" saying the current group of Bengals simply wants it more than those who have departed.

Last week, the young Bengals got a taste of AFC North inter divisional battle from the Pittsburgh Steelers. This week in Baltimore will be another step in that development. They should expect nothing but the best from the Baltimore Ravens.


Tags: Andy Dalton, Baltimore Ravens, Carson Palmer, Cincinnati, Cincinnati Bengals, Fabian Washington, Football, NFL, Ray Rice

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