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Five stats that stand out ahead of Sunday's Ravens-Bengals game

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) is congratulated by Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco (5) at the expiration of the fourth quarter at Paul Brown Stadium on Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013.
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) is congratulated by Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco (5) at the expiration of the fourth quarter at Paul Brown Stadium on Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013. (Karl Merton Ferron / Baltimore Sun)

The Ravens return home Sunday with a tall order -- beat the division rival Cincinnati Bengals to avoid falling to 0-3 and three games back in the AFC North.

Here are five stats that stand out ahead of that game, including notes on Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton against the Ravens, missed tackles, red-zone touchdowns, and the Ravens' poor field position through the first two games of the season.

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  • 69.6 – For all the talk of Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco’s struggles against the Bengals, Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton has a 69.6 passer rating against Baltimore, the second-lowest he has against any team he has played more than once. Dalton has seven touchdown passes and 12 interceptions in eight games against the Ravens, though last year he completed 46 of 66 passes (69.6 percent) for 567 yards, a touchdown and an interception.
  • 11 – According to ProFootballFocus.com, Ravens defenders missed 11 tackles on Sunday in Oakland, which coach John Harbaugh said was caused by both a lack of aggression and technique issues. That tackling will be put to the test by Bengals running backs Jeremy Hill and Giovani Bernard, who have forced 17 missed tackles through two games. The shifty Bernard is a threat in both phases of the offense, and will have to be surrounded so he doesn’t extend plays the way the Raiders backs and receivers did against the Ravens.
  • 28.6 – The Ravens have two touchdowns in seven red-zone possessions so far, the third-worst rate in the NFL. They’ve only once not come away with points inside the opponent’s 20-yard line, and found the end zone on tight end Crockett Gillmore’s bulldozing catch-and-run and Lorenzo Taliaferro’s 7-yard run Sunday. Otherwise, a series of jump balls and fades into the corners of the end zone, and attempts at a power running game, haven’t been successful.
  • .929 – Under Harbaugh, the Ravens have won 13 of 14 games at M&T Bank Stadium in September, a .929 winning percentage. The only loss came in Week 1 of 2014 to the Bengals. To prevent their first 0-3 start under Harbaugh, the Ravens will need to continue that trend against a Bengals team that has given them fits for years. Overall, the Ravens are 45-11 (.803 winning percentage) under Harbaugh at home.
  • 24.14 – On average, the Ravens have started their drives just outside the 24-yard line, the sixth-worst starting field position in the NFL, according to Football Outsiders. The frequent touchbacks in Denver and Oakland didn’t help that number, but the Ravens started their first 20 drives inside their own territory before the 21st began in Raiders territory after Will Hill’s interception. They’ll need to take control in the field position battle to put the defense in better positions and create shorter fields for the offense.

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