It’s odd to find a pivotal game for a team so early in the regular season. However, after a dreadful performance against the San Francisco 49ers, Week 3 against the Buffalo Bills could be a make or break kind of game for the Cincinnati Bengals.
If you’re looking at big games this Sunday, the Cincinnati Bengals at the Buffalo Bills is huge. Week 3 will either affirm the Bengals are every bit as bad as they were against San Francisco or closer to who they were against the Seahawks. Either way, the road trip to western New York is as big as they get.
It’s also significant on the schedule. Cincinnati is back on the road for two games. After Week 3 in Buffalo, they close out September against division rival Pittsburgh on Monday night. While Bengals fans are downright giddy that Ben Roethlisberger may be lost for the season, Mason Rudolph is a quarterback many in the NFL media seem to like.
A Roethlisberger-less Steelers team doesn’t guarantee a win on the road or at home, making Sunday against the Bills critical for a Bengals team needing a big effort.
But it’s more than that. Cincinnati was promising in Seattle, and downright depressing against the 49ers. Week 3 may be the best opportunity to find out who the Bengals may actually be.
Cincinnati has a lot to get right this Sunday. The offensive line is laboring with injuries, and the defense collapsed, making Jimmy Garoppolo look like an MVP candidate. Zac Taylor is up against it sooner than he could have hoped. He needs to find a running game in Buffalo for his team to have a chance.
It’s a heavy lift in Week 3. A loss will spell disaster before even reaching the end of September, making Week 1 in Seattle seem like a lifetime ago.