Bengals QB Carson Palmer vs. Ravens S Ed Reed
Reading middle linebacker Ray Lewis and safety Ed Reed are the keys to solving the Ravens' pass defense. Reed, though, is the last line of defense. The Bengals will attempt to throw long a lot, and Palmer, above, has to know where Reed is at all times. Reed studies a lot of game film and is quite aggressive - so aggressive that teams like to use that against him, especially with play-action and pump fakes. Reed is coming off a great game against the Broncos. Palmer can fake out any safety with his eyes or pumps and is having an outstanding season. Edge: Palmer: .
Bengals RB Cedric Benson vs. Ravens MLB Ray Lewis
Benson gained more than 100 yards against the Ravens earlier this season, and the Ravens are still angry. Unlike previous years, the Bengals have more of a lateral running game instead of just north and south. It will give the Ravens problems. Lewis, above, is having a strong season, but like his teammates, he struggled early in the season by trying to do too much. The Ravens and Lewis need to stay disciplined against a Bengals team that won't give up on the run. Edge: Even: .
Foxworth and Washington are small and have trouble against big, physical receivers. Ochocinco gave the Ravens problems in the first game because the Bengals played him on the outside, as well as in the slot. They also had him in motion at times, allowing him to get off the line of scrimmage cleanly. The Ravens have to find a way to neutralize Ochocinco. Washington, above, and Foxworth have to limit his big plays. Edge: Ochocinco: .