The Bengals haven’t shared a lot of their thoughts on the Ravens’ AFC North superiority this week. But what they have said apparently hasn’t eluded Justin Madubuike.
Asked Friday whether Sunday’s division opener against Cincinnati feels like a bigger game, the second-year defensive lineman said there’s “definitely more hostility in the air” this week.
“I heard they’re talking about what they’re going to do, and this and that,” Madubuike said. “We’re just going to talk with our pads and our helmets. That’s how we roll over here. It’s definitely hostility. It’s going to be a bloodbath, for sure.”
One day earlier, Bengals wide receiver Tyler Boyd said it was “time to flip the script” in the series. Cincinnati has lost five straight games against the Ravens, including two blowout defeats last season. But the Bengals have won four of their first six games, including a comfortable 24-10 win over the defending AFC North champion Pittsburgh Steelers.
“It’s time to take over the throne, just like we went out and beat the Steelers,” Boyd said. “That was another team that I really wanted to achieve and beat. ... I’ve beat the [the Ravens] a few times, but I want to get to where everyone knows we can’t be beaten, like we’re the top dogs in the division. And I think we’re headed in that direction.”
On Monday, Harbaugh called the Bengals one of the NFL’s best teams and didn’t shy away from the stakes of their Week 7 matchup. “Whoever wins is going to be leading the division, kind of, at the midway point of the season,” he said.
- Harbaugh said tight end Nick Boyle “looked good” this week in his return to practice after rehabilitating his knee injury, but he’s not expected to play Sunday.
- Asked whether Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow’s throat contusion could be a competitive disadvantage, Harbaugh said he had given the notion “zero thought.” Harbaugh said he expected Cincinnati to use a silent cadence on offense, which would put less strain on Burrow’s voice.
- Harbaugh said the Ravens are cross-training practice squad defensive tackle Kahlil McKenzie as an offensive lineman. McKenzie, a 6-foot-3, 326-pound sixth-round draft pick in 2018, has previous experience on offense. “His dad kind of thinks he should be an offensive lineman,” Harbaugh said, referring to former NFL linebacker Reggie McKenzie. “So we’re going to start working him over there a little bit.”