Welp, it’s Week 5 already and to put it bluntly, last week in Cleveland was super ugly for the Bengals offense. Offensively they looked absolutely anemic as they could only muster 6 points against a good Cleveland defense. Whether it be too many penalties, too many turnovers, a quarterback struggling to find consistency, or questionable play calling, the Bengals offense must improve as they attempt to right the ship and make it to the post season for a third straight season. There is just too much talent and depth on this team for them not to improve on last seasons 10-6 record and one and done post season outcome.
Many are calling this weeks matchup a potential statement game for the Bengals as they go against an undefeated Patriots team that simply finds a way to win week in and week out. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is a future hall-of-famer who has a 4-0 career record against the Bengals. The last time they faced each other was in 2010 when the Patriots won 38-24 in New England. The last time the two teams played each other in Cincinnati was back in 2007 when the Patriots crushed the Bengals 34-13 and the last time the Bengals beat the Patriots was at home back in 2001 when QB Jon Kitna lead the Bengals to a 23-17 win. The Bengals are a 1.5 pt favorite heading into the game but most of the national media are picking the Patriots to come out on top.
The weather forecast in Cincinnati tomorrow calls for thunderstorms and an 80% chance of rain. With that being said Bengals fans hope they will see a heavy dose of runs from Giovani Bernard and former Patriot Benjarvus Green-Ellis and hopefully a consistent run game will open up the middle of the field for high percentage completions from Andy Dalton to his receivers and tight ends. The phrase “a good running game is a quarterbacks best friend” has definitely been true thus far when it comes to the quality of play we see from Andy Dalton.
So far this season it appears that the Bengals have tended to play up to the more hyped up opponent and play down a bit against teams where they are supposed to win based on media perception heading into the game. Regardless, they will need to raise their level of effort and execution and clean up many of the mistakes that have plagued them during the first 4 games of the season thus far.
My Prediction: Patriots 27, Bengals 21