The Cincinnati Bengals aren’t that bad. Okay, they’ve been pretty good the first month of the season, and I don’t think anyone outside of Cincy has seen a start like this on the horizon. A 3-1 start to the season, a road division win over the struggling Steelers in Pittsburgh and the only possession of first place in the AFC North after four weeks.
This is Cincinnati’s best start since 2018. They shot to a 4-1 record before remembering they were the Bengals, and their season started to go in the opposite direction. Andy Dalton hurt his thumb, leaving him on injured reserve and out for the rest of that season, and that was all she wrote. Resulting in another 6-10 finish.
Now the Bengals have what looks like their franchise quarterback in Joe Burrow and a potential star wide receiver with Ja’Marr Chase. In his first four NFL games, Chase has four touchdowns, two of them against the Steelers. Meanwhile, you’ll see Burrow’s confidence grow with each game.
What’s even more impressive than the Bengals’ record is how they win these matches. Two of their three wins are by three points. Even their Week 2 loss to the Bears in Chicago was three points. Now, I know it’s early, and they are only 2-1 in close games. But this has to count for something, right?
Cincy’s first big test of the season comes home on Week 5, when Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers come to town. This may sound surprising, but Rodgers has a losing record, 1-2, against the Bengals. It’s a small sample size, but I’m sure Bengals fans will take every kind of silver lining they can get. Beating the Packers would show the league that they are real this year.
The Bengals may be catching on to Rodgers at the right time as he has only passed about 216 yards per game in his first three games. The Packers are playing against the Steelers in Green Bay Week 4, so that average is likely to go up a bit. Beating the Packers would be a big kudos to Bengals head coach Zac Taylor. In his first two years as head coach, Taylor’s record is 6-25-1. Should the Bengals beat Green Bay, it could go a long way in showing doubters that he can be a winning coach in the NFL.
It’s time for the Bengals to break out of this funk and give their fans something to cheer about. They’ve done that so far, but have to hold it against the cheese heads. This has the potential to be a signature win that could put the Bengals on a nice run for the rest of the year.
If the Bengals can keep Burrow on the field, they have just as good a chance of competing in the AFC North as any other team. The Bengals may not surprise you, but in the end, winning is what will truly leave fans and opponents in awe.