The odds already seemed surprisingly good for Cincinnati, who will face the toughest test of their 2021 season so far against an elite trio of Aaron Rodgers, Davante Adams, and Aaron Jones.
But to predict a Bengals win? Someone’s been drinking too much orange Kool-Aid.
Most news outlets have the Wisconsin side coming away with a victory given Green Bay’s recent dominance and Cincinnati’s questionable team form. As good as Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase have been, they’re playing one of the most experienced and talented offenses in the league.
Burrow and Chase’s college connection makes them look amateur compared to Rodgers and Adams. It’s the freshmen against the seniors, and the seniors always have the upper hand.
Still, Will Brinson of CBS Sports (and two other writers) is favoring the Cincinnati side, and he does so extremely enthusiastically:
"The Bengals currently profile as the fifth-best defense in football by DVOA and are particularly stout against the run. Additionally, when Joe Mixon is out — and he should be here — Cincy morphs from an early-down run offense to a more pass-friendly unit. Get Joe Burrow cooking against a secondary without Jaire Alexander and with Tee Higgins back in the fold and we could see some fireworks. I’m backing AMERICA’S NEW TEAM THE CINCINNATI BENGALS to win this game OUTRIGHT."
The all caps really sells his point.
CBS Sports believes the Cincinnati Bengals can pull off a huge upset in Week 5
The Bengals are a galaxy far away from becoming “America’s New Team,” as the current successful reign of Zac Taylor could crumble any moment now. Taylor has brought together a good team producing good results in recent weeks, but their consistency and durability have yet to be tested.
Mixon is trending toward playing on Sunday “in some capacity,” so the Bengals won’t be so reliant on the pass, which could be a positive or negative. That three-pronged attack of Tyler Boyd, Tee Higgins, and Chase could stretch Green Bay’s secondary very, very thin, but each wideout would still has to play a near perfect game to make this matchup close.
So does Joe Burrow. And the defense. And Taylor. And pretty much every member of the Bengals team on Sunday.
Maybe CBS Sports has been riding on the magic carpet ride of the Bengals’ upset against the Pittsburgh Steelers and hasn’t yet come back down to Earth.
The Packers are not the Steelers. The Packers are the Packers, which is an obvious statement reinforcing what’s already been reported by almost every analyst across the nation.
It will take much more than enthusiasm and confidence for Cincinnati to win in Week 5. But we’re glad there’s a black sheep among us.