Bengals: The Jaguars provide the best chance to win any time soon
If the Cincinnati Bengals can’t secure a win against the Jaguars in week four, it may be a while before they find their first victory of the season.
Over the past two seasons, the Cincinnati Bengals have allowed countless winnable games to slip from their grasp. This has been especially true in the opening three weeks of the 2020 campaign, as Zac Taylor’s squad has dropped two contests by a combined eight points and tied a third.
As the club pushes forward in an attempt to alter its culture and overcome its weaknesses, a week four matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars represents the most realistic opportunity for a win any time soon.
Gardner Minshew and co. have some exciting playmakers, including rookie Laviska Shenault Jr., but overall, they’re clearly in need of an influx of talent. Sitting at 1-2, they’re susceptible to falling into a deeper hole in the AFC South if the Bengals can overcome their many injury issues this week.
The secondary for Jacksonville looks to be weak enough to offer a chance for rookie quarterback Joe Burrow to get his deep passing game going and for A.J. Green to return to form. Not to mention, outside of Josh Allen, the Jaguars don’t have much along the defensive trenches to prevent Joe Mixon from having his first big game of the year.
The road for the Bengals gets rocky until late November
After Cincinnati finishes this weekend’s home game, a contest they’re favored to win, the slate gets significantly harder than it has been in the opening quarter of the season. In all, the next five weeks features matchups against teams that currently have a combined record of 12-3.
That includes two games against undefeated teams in the Pittsburg Steelers and Tennessee Titans, as well as a battle against reigning MVP Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens. It won’t be until November 22nd that Joe Burrow and crew face a team that currently has a losing record.
Now, this is the NFL. Anything can happen in a given week. Perhaps the Bengals find their footing and go on a streak. Maybe an injury opens up an opportunity to steal a game. The front office could even attempt a trade to bring in some help.
However, with the way the offensive line is performing, it’s difficult to imagine a scenario where Cincinnati gets a win before week 10 if they don’t come away victorious against the lowly Jaguars.
This fact is especially true if defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo continues to be without Geno Atkins, who is evidently struggling with a mysterious injury that has left the run defense reeling.
As the Bengals welcome 6,000 fans into Paul Brown Stadium this weekend, the urgency to get a win should be at an all-time high because if it doesn’t come on Sunday, things are likely to get a whole lot worse before they get better.