Chicago Bears @ Cincinnati Bengals: By the numbers
Here are the numbers you need to know heading into Cincinnati’s Week 14 contest with Chicago.
176: Number of passes without an interception for Andy Dalton
Even though some think AJ McCarron should see playing time for the Bengals, starting quarterback Andy Dalton has been safe with the football, throwing 11 touchdowns and no interceptions over the last six games. Dalton’s streak of 176 passes without a pick is the best in the NFL and longest of his career.
Monday’s loss overshadowed a great prime-time performance by the Red Rifle. Dalton threw two first-half touchdown passes to A.J. Green to help the Bengals take a 17-0 lead over division-rival Pittsburgh.
Dalton’s third TD toss to Green was called back for a phantom holding call that cost Cincinnati four crucial points. The Bengals ultimately had to settle for a 41-yard Randy Bullock field goal in the and would not score again. Dalton had a big third-down conversion in the loss, including 3rd and 16 connections to Green and Brandon LaFell.
Ultimately, though, crucial drops hurt Dalton and the offense. Plagued by a rain-soaked football in the second half, Green dropped two first-down catches and LaFell dropped another that would’ve set up a third and short.
Here are Dalton’s best throws from the loss.
10: Number of Bengals who did not practice on Thursday
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Saying the Bengals will be short-handed this Sunday is an understatement. There were 10 names (eight starters) who did not practice on Thursday.
The big fish include Geno Atkins, Vontaze Burfict, Dre Kirkpatrick, Darqueze Dennard, Nick Vigil, Shawn Williams, Adam Jones and Joe Mixon.
John Ross was put on injured reserve. Vigil, who didn’t play against Pittsburgh, was an earlier candidate for injured reserve (according to The Cincinnati Enquirer). It’s unlikely the second-year linebacker will play against the Bears.
That means Cincinnati’s defense will have to collectively fill shoes against the Bears’ rushing attack. Jordan Howard is fifth in the NFL in rushing yards, although he’s gained just 44 yards on his last 20 carries.
The waiting game will be played over the next few days concerning the Bengals’ secondary. We’ll just have to see who can get back to practice. But, not participating on a Thursday paints a concerning picture.
The Bears’ league-worst passing attack is lacking in the weapons department. Chicago’s leading receiver, Kendall Wright, has just 370 yards. Backup running back Tarik Cohen leads the club with 39 catches.
2: Percent chance the Bengals have to make playoffs, per simulator
The New York Times claims the Bengals have a 98 percent chance of cleaning out lockers after the regular-season finale in Baltimore on Dec. 31.
Cincinnati is two games back of the Ravens, who currently hold the final Wild Card spot. Realistically, the Bengals would likely have to win out and have Baltimore lose three of its final four.
Not to mention the Chargers, Chiefs, Raiders and Bills all have a one-game lead on the Bengals at 6-6. So, in layman’s terms, a lot needs to happen.