Cincinnati Bengals Will Face Tough Tests in October
Oct 6, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green (18) runs for a first down against New England Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib (31) and defensive back Devin McCourty (32) at Paul Brown Stadium. Cincinnati defeated New England 13-6. Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports
The NFL season is a month old, but the Cincinnati Bengals will see their toughest four weeks of football immediately following the bye week. In October, they face the New England Patriots in Foxborough, the Carolina Panthers at home, the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium, and their second game against division rival, the Baltimore Ravens at Paul Brown Stadium.
The Bengals will face Tom Brady and the Patriots in prime time on Sunday night. It will be Andy Dalton’s second test of the season as he is 2-4 in prime time with only a 1-4 record on the road at night as Coley Harvey, Bengals writer for ESPN.com, points out in his article. He has already overcome a personal 0-3 record in Baltimore and did it when it counted most, in the fourth quarter.
Carolina has been beaten, battered, and bruised in their two games against the AFC North so far this year. They were convincingly defeated by the Pittsburgh Steelers in Carolina, 37-19, and then were dismantled by the Ravens in Baltimore, 38-10. The Bengals will face them after the Chicago Bears get their shot, so it is possible they could face the Panthers while at their most vulnerable.
Indianapolis will be a tough test in Week Seven as they’ve been hot lately. They started out with two tough losses to the Broncos and Eagles, but found their way back to 2-2 by beating divisional opponents Jacksonville and Tennessee. They will face two tough opponents in the Ravens and, divisional rival, Texans, which could bring them back down to earth. Like when facing the Panthers, the Bengals might see the Colts at just the right time.
Finally, they will end October at home against AFC North rival, the Baltimore Ravens. The Bengals got the best of them in Week One beating them on the road while giving Dalton his first win in Baltimore. This is the game that concerns me the most because the Ravens will be out for revenge. The Bengals must control the tempo, much like they did in the first half against them in Week One if they are to find success against the Ravens once more.
If they can get out of October 3-1 or 4-0, it will be a great month. Playing two games at home, where they have been dominant, should ensure them of at least going 2-2. If they can pick up a road win, then they’ll reach this 3-1 goal. Any way you look at it, October will prove to be both an entertaining and revealing month for the Cincinnati Bengals.