The Bengals hope to avoid an 0-3 start, when they travel to Lambeau Field to face the Packers. Here are the numbers you need to know.
0: Number of touchdowns scored by the Bengals this season
The offense has managed just nine points in two games. That’s the lowest two-game total since 2000 when the duo of Akili Smith and Scott Mitchell led Cincinnati to just seven points over an 0-3 start. This dubious lack of results led to the firing of Ken Zampese on Friday.
5: The Bengals turnover differential this season
Andy Dalton matched a career-high, with four interceptions against Baltimore in Week 1 and added a red zone fumble. Cincinnati committed just one turnover last Thursday against Houston, but it was a costly one as rookie John Ross fumbled on his first professional carry. His turnover led to a Texans’ field goal.
27: Bill Lazor’s number of games as an NFL offensive coordinator
Cincinnati’s new offensive coordinator served at that position for the Miami Dolphins in 2014 and for the first 11 games in 2015. He was let go in November of that year after Miami’s offense threw the ball 58 times (and attempted just nine runs) in a 38-20 loss to the New York Jets.
Under Lazor’s tutelage in 2014, Dolphins’ quarterback Ryan Tannehill set career-high marks in passer rating, completion percentage and touchdown passes. That same season, Lamar Miller became Miami’s first 1,000-yard rusher since 2011.
15-6-2: Career record for Andy Dalton against NFC clubs
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This includes a 34-30 win over the Packers in 2013 when Dalton engineered a 16-point, second-half comeback and the Bengals won on a fumble return touchdown by Terence Newman. Cincinnati went 3-1 against the NFC North that season.
203: All-purpose yards for Packers’ running back Ty Montgomery this season
The dual-threat back scored Green Bay’s only touchdown in a season-opening win over Seattle, then tallied two touchdowns in Sunday night’s loss to Atlanta. Montgomery against Cincinnati’s linebackers will be something to watch on Sunday. This is why the Bengals got younger at the position with Nick Vigil, 24, and Kevin Minter, 26, replacing Rey Maualuga and Karlos Dansby.
3.4: Yards per carry by the Bengals running backs this season
As great as Joe Mixon’s potential is, he has not been able to get going behind Cincinnati’s sub-par offensive line. Mixon has just 45 rushing yards on a team-high 17 carries and just four catches for 20 yards. Under Lazor, Mixon should be the featured back, rather than the three-headed rotation that was used by Ken Zampese in the first two weeks. Giovani Bernard was Mixon’s replacement and the third-down back, and Jeremy Hill used for short yardage.
5: Packers’ players injured against the Falcons on Sunday
Two of Aaron Rodgers‘ top targets at wide receiver – Jordy Nelson (quad), Randall Cobb (shoulder) – had to leave the game. Nelson left in the first quarter and Cobb late in the fourth. Green Bay also had three defensive players banged up in the loss. Defensive tackle Mike Daniels (hamstring), defensive back Davon House (quad) and safety Kentrell Brice (groin) suffered injuries.
4: Sacks by the Bengals defense this season
Geno Atkins has three and Chris Smith has one. But, the D-line, as a whole, has been getting pressure on opposing quarterbacks. That number would be higher, but Joe Flacco only threw 17 passes and DeShaun Watson was able to escape the pocket numerous times. Rodgers has been sacked seven times already this season. And the Packers’ front five is banged up, too, with tackles Bryan Bulaga and David Bakhtiari missing Sunday’s loss to the Falcons. Those two were wildly missed against Atlanta, with Rodgers getting sacked three times and hit seven more, including a hit by Vic Beasley, where he sidestepped a cut- block attempt by Justin McCray (a guard-turned-tackle due to injuries) and forced a fumble that was recovered and returned for a touchdown by Desmond Trufant.
1: Touches for John Ross in his debut
Ross took a reverse in the first quarter and used his record speed to race deep into Houston territory last Thursday. However, a perfectly placed hit by Kareem Jackson knocked the ball free, and Jadeveon Clowney was able to flip the field with a 49-yard return.
Ross did not touch the pigskin for the rest of the night. The Bengals used the ninth overall pick to draft Ross. He’s just the fourth receiver Cincinnati has ever drafted in the top 10. If the Bengals are calling for Lazor to mix things up, getting Ross involved is at the top of the list.
19: Years since Green Bay’s last win over Cincinnati
This Wednesday, September 20, will mark exactly 19 years since the Packers defeated the Bengals. Since that 13-6 loss at Cinergy Field, Cincinnati is 3-0 against Green Bay. They’ve squeaked out close wins in all three games.