After two weeks on the West Coast, the Ravens (0-2) head home to M&T Bank Stadium for a Sunday matinee with the AFC North-rival Cincinnati Bengals (2-0).
The Ravens are 0-2 for the first time since 2005, while the Bengals sit at 2-0 for the second straight season. Though Baltimore leads the all-time series, 20-18, Cincinnati has won the last three contests.
The most recent clash was Oct. 26, 2014 in Ohio, a 27-24 Ravens loss that featured no touchdown passes and two interceptions from Joe Flacco. The Ravens quarterback is 7-7 all-time against the Bengals -- tied for the second-most wins he has against any team -- yet he has thrown 18 picks and 13 touchdowns during those games to collect a 69.6 quarterback rating.
Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton has had similar struggles, throwing seven touchdowns and 12 interceptions during eight games against the Ravens to garner a 4-4 record and an identical rating to Flacco -- 69.6. However, his current form is no indication, as Dalton has five touchdowns and no picks so far this season, notching three against the Chargers Sept. 20 to claim a 24-19 victory.
Following a Week Two 37-33 loss to the Raiders Sept. 20, the Ravens rank 20th in the league in total yards (333 per game), 14th in pass yards (242) and 21st in rush yards (91). The Bengals have been more lethal with the ball, averaging the seventh-highest yard average (392.5), as they lean on the fourth-best ground game.
Wide Receiver Steve Smith Sr. has been the Ravens' most consistent weapon, leading the team with 12 catches for 163 yards. He has averaged 89 yards per game in five career battles with Cincinnati. Bengals standout Giovani Bernard has rushed for 186 yards in two games, but has averaged 43.3 yards per game and one touchdown during four career matchups with the Ravens.
The Ravens' point differential heading into Week Three is -10, the second-best for the nine 0-2 teams. Touting a defense with the fourth-fewest points allowed, the Bengals' differential is +25, the third-highest in the league behind the Jets (+34) and Cardinals (+37).
The 1-2-3's of the Game:
One: The number of home games the Ravens have lost in September since John Harbaugh and Joe Flacco joined the team in 2008. Coincidentally, that loss was to the Bengals last year. Baltimore's 13-1 record is the best mark in the NFL and displays the consistent early-season success the Ravens have enjoyed in Charm City. Baltimore's overall home record during that span is 45-11, good for second-best in the league after the New England Patriots (50-7).
Two: The number of interceptions Flacco has thrown during the final minute to seal an opponent victory. His two touchdowns and three picks this season marks the first time he has had more interceptions than touchdowns heading to Week Three since 2010. He threw four picks in Week Two against the Bengals that year, completing 17-of-39 passes (43.6 percent) for the six-worst completion percentage in his eight-season career.
Three: The number of losses the Ravens will look to avoid before they tally their first win. Since the franchise joined the NFL in 1996, the Ravens have never started a season 0-3.