3 most important Cincinnati Bengals for Week 5 vs Packers
By Riley Thomas
Joe Burrow could make a statement against one of the NFL’s best
Look, it’s the Green Bay Packers — We know how good they are. Cincinnati is not winning this game unless their best players are performing at or near their peak. There is never a large room for error against a team led by Rodgers.
Burrow clearly has done so much for the Bengals franchise already. He has played lights out over the last two weeks against the Steelers and Jaguars. If your quarterback is playing this well, you have a chance against anyone. Cincy will need that to continue against Green Bay.
The Packers are dealing with a lot of injuries in their secondary, and really their whole defense right now. This only gives Burrow an even greater chance to take over in Week 5. Plus, Cincinnati’s run game could struggle some with Joe Mixon possibly missing the game with an ankle sprain. It just feels like the Bengals have to win this game through the air.
Green Bay will likely be without their star cornerback Jaire Alexander. The other starting outside corner Kevin King has now missed two games with a concussion and an illness, but he could return.
As of now, it looks like the Packers will be starting King and the rookie Eric Stokes at cornerback. King has been burnt at times throughout his career and while Stokes has been good, he is a rookie and will not be perfect.
The Packers’ lead pass-rusher Za’Darius Smith will be out yet again, and another pass-rusher Preston Smith will likely be questionable with a shoulder injury. Cincinnati’s offensive line could give Burrow substantial time in the pocket again.
Burrow could get back one of his weapons, Tee Higgins, on Sunday too. Higgins, Tyler Boyd, and Ja’Marr Chase against an injured secondary should equal success. There’s little reason to think Burrow will not shred Green Bay’s secondary, especially when he could be relied upon even more with Mixon’s injury.
This is an opportunity for Burrow to go toe-to-toe with Rodgers coming off his MVP season. Burrow cannot do wrong right now, which is seen by his 128.5 passer rating on 20+ yard throws and his 92.0 passing grade in the last two games.
If Burrow continues his outstanding play, Cincinnati will be in a closely contested game with a good chance to win. Rodgers of Green Bay has played really well himself since the Packers’ Week 1 loss.
If Chidobe Awuzie and/or Jessie Bates misses another game, Rodgers has himself a favorable matchup as well. This game could turn into a shootout, but hey, does anyone in the NFL want to leave the ball in Burrow’s hands right now?
The Bengals can win a shootout with Burrow meticulously picking apart defenses over the last two weeks.