The Baltimore Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals are set to square off on Monday night in their 2012 NFL season opener.
The contest is set to get underway at 7 p.m. ET at M&T Bank Stadium. The game will be televised nationally on ESPN. If you can't get to a TV, you can watch a free live stream online at espn3.com.
The AFC North rivals play each other, after both teams made the playoffs in 2011. The Ravens came in first place, while the Bengals grabbed the final wild card spot.
Baltimore begins the year as one of the favorites to win the Super Bowl. They are the only team to make the postseason in four straight years, but haven't reached the title game in that period.
Cincinnati is looking to a build a foundation that is similar to Baltimore's. Andy Dalton led the Bengals to the playoffs in his first season. Rookie wide receiver A.J. Green had over 1,000 yards in his first year.
The Ravens beat the Bengals by a touchdown in both of the team's meetings a season ago. Joe Flacco was very efficient in each game, completing just fewer than 70 percent of his passes.
Baltimore has one of the league's best defenses, but is somewhat undermanned. Terrell Suggs is on the PUP list with an Achilles injury, and might be out for all 16 games. It's hard to understate the impact he has on the Ravens defense. He's the reigning defensive player of the year. Paul Kruger and Albert McClellan will attempt to replace him.
Ray Lewis is still in the middle of the Baltimore defense. He had 95 tackles in his 16th NFL season.
The Bengals are up and coming, but they're not expected to win on Monday night. Cincinnati is a seven-point underdog.
Prediction: The Bengals were one of the most surprising team's last year, making the playoffs. Dalton, however, had some trouble with the Ravens defense, and Cincinnati will probably start out with a loss.
Predicted Score: Baltimore 27, Cincinnati 17