The Bengals’ Week 14 battle is a matchup with the Chicago Bears, After a second-half meltdown on Monday, Cincinnati needs a win.
There’s no doubt about it. The Cincinnati Bengals are looking another disappointing year in the eyes. What was supposed to be a year of great accomplishments has soured and turned into another stinker. In order to save what’s left of a forgettable campaign, they need to win out and hope there’s a chance to sneak into the postseason. But, at this point, most fans’ attention has turned to the draft. Yet, there’s still football to be played and the Chicago Bears are the flavor of the moment.
It’s hard to believe that six days ago the Bengals were on the verge of a Monday night upset. The Steelers were reeling in the first half and it looked like the home team would walk away with a slam-dunk win. But, in typical Bengals fashion, there was a meltdown. It wasn’t your average few mistakes kind of collapse. It was one for the ages. Well. at least since the 24-20 disaster of last season.
With that said, the Bengals have to overcome the temptation of looking ahead. There’s no reason to get caught up in the playoff hoopla. Losing on Monday Night Football plainly illustrates this team isn’t ready. No. I’m not a hater or bandwagon fan. But, watching this team blow leads and look lost in the second half has become a trademark of Marvin Lewis’ tenure. Call it whatever you want, there’s no discipline. And in a situation like this (needing to win out), that shouldn’t be an issue. Unfortunately, the Chicago Bears are just the team to make Lewis and Co. fall asleep.
Will they post a W?
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Honestly, who knows at this juncture? The Colts came into Paul Brown Stadium and played like Super Bowl defending champions. It took a last-minute Carlos Dunlap INT to seal the win. If not for that, Indy would have had a serious chance to win the game.
Additionally, there’s the small matter of the five wins. Two of those W’s have come against the Browns, one was the lowly Denver Broncos and another was Indianapolis. The lone win that looks decent is the 20-16 victory over the Bills. Once again, there are no quality wins in the left column. So, when there’s talk of just manhandling the Chicago Bears, it’s not a given. Chicago has been in every loss they’ve had this season. Tampa Bay and the Eagles have been the only blowouts they’ve suffered. Again, it’s not a given for a Bengals win.
Offensively and defensively speaking
What is there to say? Both teams are at the bottom of the totem pole in the NFL rankings. Without the help of the Bears, the Bengals would be dead last in the league. Yes, you’re welcome. Now, you know who’s worse off than the lowly Cincinnati offense.
Additionally, the Bears are tossing out a meager 15.9 points per game. Alas, the Bengals are not much better. With their No. 31 rank, they’re scoring at a clip of 18.3 per contest. If you’re looking for a ton of offensive fireworks, don’t get your hopes up.
As far as the X’s, Chicago and Cincinnati are ranked 12th and 14th respectively. So, if you want a defensive battle, that could be the case on Sunday. But, don’t get comfortable with a Bengals’ lead. This one could come down to a Mike Nugent kick to win or lose it.