Despite a defense that ranks among the league’s top 10 units (317.7 ypg) and an offense just outside of it (355.7 ypg), Cincinnati’s victories have come by an average of six points, and every game they’ve played in has gone into the fourth quarter with the score separating either them or their opponents by just a single score.
The Lions’ thrive off forcing turnovers, and they already have 13 takeaways, which is tied for fourth in the league after finishing with only 17 last year. That’s been the key to their 4-2 start, matching their 2012 win total before the midpoint of the year. Lions QB Matthew Stafford notched his seventh career game with 4+ touchdown throws during Sunday’s win over the Browns, and three of those TDs were scored by rookie tight end Joseph Fauria.
The matchup of the game to watch is Lions All-Pro receiver Calvin Johnson matched-up against Pro Bowl cornerback Leon Hall. Johnson is still dealing with a knee injury that’s limited him to seven catches for 69 yards over the last two games in which he’s played in. He missed the Week 5 loss at Green Bay. Johnson caught six passes for 123 yards and a score in the last meeting, a 23-13 Cincinnati home victory on Dec. 6, 2009, the Bengals’ fourth straight in the series.
Both teams lead their respective divisions and have a great chance here to at least keep that going for at least one more week.