The Cincinnati Bengals managed to get back to .500 after grabbing a win in the Superdome and hope to have a winning record for the first time this season as they prepare for their upcoming game against the Atlanta Falcons at home in Paycor Stadium.
Right now, the Bengals are 6.5-point favorites, but I wouldn't be surprised if the final score is closer than that. The stripes still have some issues with consistency and the Falcons have some pretty solid players on both sides of the ball, such as Drake London on offense and A.J. Terrell on defense.
Now, one of the most fun things to do before games, at least in my opinion, is to predict what will go down. Not just who will win or what the score will be, but more specific stuff like who will have the most receiving yards or how many takeaways a defense will finish with. So, without further ado, here are some of my bold predictions for the Bengals week 7 matchup against the Atlanta Falcons.
Tyler Boyd leads the way for receiving yards
After Ja'Marr Chase's explosive performance in his and Joe Burrow's return back to the Bayou, opposing defenses will no doubt be dialed in on him more than they have been following his otherwise slow start to the season. With Tee Higgins still looking pretty sluggish coming off an ankle injury, Tyler Boyd will have his best performance since Week 3 vs. the Jets.
Not only will he have a big game, but he'll have the most reception yards of any receiver between both teams this game. While the Falcons may focus most of their efforts on stopping Chase, their defense is dead last when it comes to passing yards allowed and they're bound to give up some big plays to other guys besides Uno.
Boyd has been quiet these last few games and hasn't recorded a score since that game against the Jets, but he is primed to have a big game with the attention on some other guys on the offense.
Joe Mixon cracks 100 yards rushing for the 1st time this season
Considering Atlanta has the ninth-best rush defense in the league, you can call this one really bold.
Mixon has struggled so far this season, yes, but he has begun to turn things around as of late. After averaging just 2.8 yards/per attempt in his first four games of the 2022 campaign, Mixon has doubled that in the last two games against the Ravens and Saints, averaging 5.6 yards/per attempt.
I'm confident that Jodein will continue to trend upward and break the 100-yard mark for the first time this season against the Falcons this week. And, like with Boyd, Chase will be to thank for some of this, as Falcons defensive coordinator Dean Pees will prioritize stopping him over anyone else.
Bengals D gives up first second-half touchdown of the season
I know this sounds blasphemous but hear me out -- The Bengals just lost arguably their best player on defense in Logan Wilson, and, while he won't be out for as long as we initially feared, I do think the defense will suffer greatly from his loss over the next few weeks. I don't think they'll drop to a bottom 5 or 10 unit, but I don't think they'll be as dominant without him.
Don't get me wrong, Akeem Davis-Gaither, Clay Johnston, and Markus Bailey are all serviceable backups, but it's hard to replace Wilson's production.
So, with that being said, the Bengals will give up their first second-half touchdown of the season to the Falcons. Hopefully, it doesn't become a habit or cost them the game, but with Wilson out, this defense won't be able to bend without breaking as easily as they've done so far this season.
Those are my bold predictions for Sunday's game vs. the Falcons. Hopefully, only the first two come true, but if I didn't believe in all of them having a chance of happening, I wouldn't include them. Whether these come true or not, let's just hope the Bengals are over .500 after this weekend. Who Dey!