The Bengals could be favored in three of their next four games with contests against the inept NFC East.
The Bengals‘ four-game stretch at Washington, against the New York Giants, at Miami and hosting the Dallas Cowboys is important to build a winning culture for the future. Miami is hot with five straight wins. The three NFC East opponents Cincinnati will play in its next four games have an 8-21 combined record.
Culture is often underlooked as an important component to build for the future. Learning how to win with a young team growing together will be important for the Bengals in their last seven games of 2020. The wins of Jacksonville and more so over Tennessee are a good start to the Joe Burrow era.
Winning on the road is another step the Bengals need to take. Cincinnati is 0-12-1 during the short-termed era with Zac Taylor as head coach. Washington is 2-7 in 2020, but 2-3 at home. Burrow and the Bengals’ pass offense will be challenged against the Washington Football Team who has the NFL’s top pass defense.
Washington will feature strengths and weaknesses battling each other. The Bengals porous pass defense will face a Washington offense 20th in passing and 30th in rushing. Joe Mixon is still questionable for Sunday. Whether or not Mixon plays the Bengals need to establish the run. Washington is 21st in run defense.
Building for the future winning games you are favored is important for confidence. At home, the Bengals will almost definitely be favored against the Giants and Dallas. The Giants will be another game Cincinnati has their weaknesses and opponents’ strengths matching up. The Giants are 28th in passing and 23rd in pass defense.
Against the run, the Giants are 27th and rank 21st in rushing offense. The game against the Giants is setting up for Burrow and the Bengals pass offense to continue to be able to move the ball. Burrow has taken advantage of bad defenses this season with five 300 yard games, one off the NFL rookie record.
The focus when the Bengals host the Cowboys will be on the return of Andy Dalton to Paul Brown Stadium. Dallas has the fourth-ranked pass offense, but those numbers are inflated. Since Dak Prescott was lost for the season in week five, the Cowboys’ pass offense has been nearly anemic.
The Dallas pass offense has been awful over the last three games. In losses to Philadelphia, Washington and Pittsburgh, Dallas is averaged 137 passing yards per game. The Dallas pass defense ranks 11th, but Ben Roethlisberger threw for 306 yards and three TDs in a Steelers victory.
The passing game might have to share billing against a Dallas defense ranked 31st against the run. Dallas is 17th in rushing. Miami will present the toughest matchup in the next four games. The biggest challenge against the Dolphins will be taking care of the ball. Miami ranks fourth in the NFL in turnover margin.
Amazingly, in his rookie season playing behind an inconsistent offensively line to put mildly, Burrow has not thrown more than on interception over the past four games. Against three teams on their level, the Bengals should look more like the team that defeated Tennessee than the one blitzed by Pittsburgh.