Oct 4, 2015; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) reacts to converting the two-point conversion scored by running back Jeremy Hill (not pictured) against the Kansas City Chiefs at Paul Brown Stadium. The Bengals won 36-21. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
On Sunday, the Seattle Seahawks will travel to Cincinnati and take on the Bengals. This game has been tabbed as the game of the week by several experts, so it could be a difficult game to predict. Here are our staff predictions for the Bengals’ upcoming Week 5 matchup.
Dustin Meritt: Before the season began, the consensus among Bengals fans was that Cincinnati would lose to Seattle in Week 5. But now that Andy Dalton is playing like a top-10 quarterback and Cincinnati is a legit AFC contender, this game is much more difficult to call. The Bengals are 4-0, playing the best football they’ve played since 2005, and possibly in the last 30 years. While the defense and running game still have significant improvements to make, most Bengals fans are realizing how special this team truly is. But with a difficult schedule, Bengals fans are still a bit weary that this team is too good to be true.
This Seahawks team coming to town has reached the Super Bowl in each of the past two seasons. Seattle has excellent coaching and quality personnel across the board. The Seahawks have the league’s second-ranked yardage defense, showing an ability to lock down on both the run and the pass (Seattle is ranked seventh in run defense and fifth in pass defense). The Bengals will have to play an almost perfect game, and if they only make the Seahawks punt once like they did against the Chiefs last week, the could get out of hand in a hurry. The Seahawks are beatable, I don’t think Cincinnati will be able to win this week. Russell Wilson runs for 90 yards, and a score; the Seahawks defense forces a turnover and takes it to the house.
Seahawks 24, Bengals 13
Connor Howe: I’m going with Cincinnati in this one. The Bengals are one of the NFL’s best home teams, Cincinnati’s D-line is tenacious and Seattle’s offensive line is a tire fire. To make matters worse, Marshawn Lynch will miss the game with an injury. On the other side, Andy Dalton is playing like he’s a top-10 quarterback and the Bengals’ offense has so many weapons that it can’t even utilize all of them on a weekly basis. Cincinnati’s offense is ranked second among all units in terms of yardage, and its defense allows under 20 points per game, good for ninth in the league. Seattle is a great team, but I have Cincinnati winning this one.
Bengals 27, Seahawks 19
Matthew Willson: This game could go one of two ways. It could be like Kansas City and the Bengals control the game, or it could be a defensive battle that the Seahawks find a way to pull one out. The one thing that has been consistent for the Bengals has been the offensive play and if they can keep Dalton on his feet there is no reason to think they can’t dominate this game. As Connor mentioned, the Bengals will miss Marshawn Lynch, but may see either Fred Jackson, or even scarier, an undrafted rookie Thomas Rawls out of Central Michigan. You can always prepare for a veteran, it is the unproven rookie’s especially undrafted, as the Bengals know best, that scare me.
However you look at this game, either Dustin’s way or Connor’s way, this game is going to be the toughest challenge that Bengals have faced outside of the Ravens divisional game. It will be up to Geno Atkins, Michael Johnson, Carlos Dunlap, and Domata Peko to get to Russell Wilson and shake him off his game, which is likely without a solid run performance. I look for the Bengals to 5-0 for the first time since 1988 when they opened the season 6-0.
Bengals 34, Seahawks 20