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Scouting the Bengals

The Packers next opponent is not a familiar face. The Bengals last faced the Packers in 2017 when Aaron Rodgers rallied Green Bay with 10 points in the 4th quarter to tie the game, allowing Mason Crosby to play hero in overtime with a 27 yard field goal.

The Bengals are a vastly different team in 2021 than the 2017 Andy Dalton led team, semi-affectionately nicknamed, “The Bungels” by frustrated hometown fans. Joe Burrow leads a high powered, primarily passing attack, offense. Burrow has fully healed from his knee injury and is comfortable rolling and passing outside the pocket. Against their last opponent, Jacksonville, the Bengals repeatedly used misdirection, with Burrow faking a handoff to his right, then rolling to his left for a short throw to either tight end, C.J. Uzomah or one of their wideouts. Uzomah displayed soft hands and great run after the catch ability. Against Jacksonville he had 5 catches for 95 yards and two touchdowns. At 6’6” and 260 pounds, Uzomah is a load to bring down, especially in the open field. The other favorite targets for Burrow are Tyler Boyd and Ja’Marr Chase. Boyd is 6’2 and a shade over 200 pounds while Chase is 6’1 and 200. The rookie Chase is dynamic with a second gear that can get him open deep. Boyd is a six year vet who has nearly an identical number of catches on first, second and third down. Burrow has a strong arm and is very accurate on passes where he is dropping the ball into a receiver on the sidelines, 15-20 yards downfield in between the corner and safety in zone coverage. Because Burrows is accurate while rolling to his right and left, Cincinnati has designed roll-out plays in the playbook.

While the offense is pass first, they did have a strong runner in Joe Mixon. Mixon injured his ankle last week and his availability is questionable with his status being categorized as, “day to day”.

The Bengals defense can be attacked, but their 3-1 record shows they can battle and win. Currently Cincinnati’s defense ranks 8th in points, 7th in yards allowed, and 8th in sacks in the NFL. They have not won the time of possession for their first four games, and they have allowed 107 pass completions for a 6.4 yard average. They also have three interceptions. They have allowed a 42% conversion rate on third down against the Vikings, Bears, Steelers and Jaguars.

The Bengals have been able to shut down the opponents run game in three of the four games they played this season. They have a very good middle linebacker in Logan Wilson. Jacksonville had some success with zone and trap run plays against the Bengals. Their top rusher, James Robinson, gained 78 yards averaging 4.3 a carry with a long run of 20 yards. The Bears struggled with a 3 yard rushing average from their prime running back, David Montgomery, but that game was impacted by Andy Dalton’s early injury and the first real playing time for Bears rookie QB Justin Fields. The Bengals were able to anticipate a heavy run game and successfully stopped the Bears for three quarters. A more relevant comparison is the Bengals 24-10 win over the Steelers. The Bengals again held Pittsburgh’s Najee Harris to a 2.9 average rush. Minnesota’s Devin Cook was also held to a three yard average by the Bengals.

Trevor Lawrence struggled to find open receivers but that can be chalked up to a rookie QB learning how to read and anticipate defenses. Roethlisberger threw 2 picks against Cincinnati, throwing 58 attempts after getting behind early. The Vikings Kirk Cousins had a statistically decent day throwing for 351 yards and a QBR of 116.8. The Vikings managed to lose by committing 12 penalties and fumbling in overtime. Fields had a statistically poor game but rallied the Bears to victory in the 4th quarter with the help of four defensive turnovers that included 3 interceptions by Burrow.
A key to containing Joe Burrow must be good outside contain by the Packers outside linebackers. If we anticipate Jaire Alexander being sidelined, his replacement, be that Kevin King or Yiadom or Jean-Charles or even Sullivan, the scheme will have to protect that corner over the top and take away the top three targets of Burrow. Expect equal amounts of nickel and dime defenses and the Packers daring the Bengals to run with a hopefully hobbled Mixon.

On offense the Packers should prepare for pressure. Cincinnati has a blitz rate of almost 24% which has led to 11 sacks. They did seem to play soft coverage on early downs against Jacksonville which may give Rodgers and company the ability to work their quick pass routes and receiver screens to their advantage. If the Packers can run successfully against the Bengals and win the turnover battle the game should be theirs to win. Burrows and the Bengals are coming off a last minute 4th quarter drive that ended with a winning field goal against Jacksonville. The Packers won with a similar script against the 49ers two weeks ago. Both teams are 3-1 in the first quarter of the 2021, 17 game season. While not a regular opponent, this game will be a good test for the Packers as the Bengals have already defeated the Vikings and lost to the Bears. A classic matchup of up and coming gunslinger against the old pro awaits. Let’s hope when the dust settles, the Packers are in the drivers seat of the NFC North Division

Paul Edwards

Paul Edwards is a lawyer, victim advocate, writer, and long term Packer fan and Packer history enthusiast.



  1. Tom M October 7, 2021

    All you can do is put Eric Stokes on Ja’Marr Chase and Kevin King on Tyler Boyd, dial up the pressure and hope for the best. Joe Burrow won’t miss open WR’s like Big Ben did. Rodgers has to get TD’s in the red zone. Twice he settled for FG’s against Steelers. He can’t overthrow WR’s either and expect to win a shoot out with Burrow. Rodgers is going to have to play like Micheal Jordan for us to have a chance. Having Joe Mixon at less than 100% will help. This game will be more of a challenge than Pittsburgh.

  2. Ferris October 7, 2021

    The Bengals wins are…Jacksonville and Minnesota by 3 each. A loss to the Bears by 3 and a win at Pittsburgh. No telling if they are good or not with those games.

    1. PF4L October 8, 2021

      Very good points from Ferris, based on perspective and reason.
      The Bengals have started well, but the teams they beat have a combined record of 2-10.

  3. PF4L October 7, 2021

    I couldn’t agree with Tommi more.

    Not sure if he mentioned Rodgers, so i’ll add this…..he has to play perfect for the Packers to win this game.
    Matter of fact if he isn’t perfect, and they still win, trust me, i still won’t you let you forget about Rodgers.
    It’s what i do,
    If i have to, i’ll repeat all of Rodgers shortcomings in this game at least….20 times..at least.
    Then i’ll repeat them again a few more times in case you missed the first 20.
    I might even tell you about last seasons game, especially Rodgers stats in the 4th quarter.
    I don’t forget, and i won’t let you forget either.
    Because…i’m a diehard Packer fan baby cakes, that’s how me, my mom, and my sister roll!
    You can take that to the bank sweetheart.

  4. Tom M October 8, 2021

    Joe Burrow is a young ascending QB with a quick release. Big Ben is none of those things and we didn’t exactly bury the Steelers. Lest you girls forget, Kevin King will start. But your too busy jacking off to stats and “combined records” and other such nonsense. The Bengals will give us all we can handle. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if they won.

    1. PF4L October 8, 2021

      “The Bengals will give us all we can handle. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if they won.”
      (We?)….What position do you play?

      What would surprise you?…your vikings winning a Super Bowl?
      Or finding out that Mark Murphy was never a NFLPA attorney as you claimed?

      1. PF4L October 8, 2021

        I learned at a very early age to own up to what i say.
        So when i’m called out on it i own it and handle it like a man.
        Not you…ohhhh no…when you get called out, you look down on the ground in silent wimper, and say nothing like a weak little man.
        Right?…Little man.

  5. PF4L October 8, 2021

    Tom M October 8, 2021
    Joe Burrow is a young ascending QB with a quick release. Big Ben is none of those things, and i’m a big whining foul mouth talking loser who pretends to be an innocent victim to garner sympathy and attention.
    Does that about cover it?
    PF4L October 8, 2021
    Yea…sounds about right.

  6. Tom M October 9, 2021

    PF4L, the sweetest of templetons, first you say we can’t beat Geno Smith, Taylor Heinke, or Justin Fields with the great, man bun wearing, Aaron Rodgers. But some how your ladyboy Aaron will make Joe Burrow his bitch because of “combined records?” Not following your logic here. I guess that’s because there is none. What a surprise! It’s time to quote stats, repeat a stupid post, or send a cartoon link. It’s something someone, like yourself, with a GED would do.

    1. PF4L October 9, 2021

      Well…lol…of course i said that….because you said so…lol
      See Princess…the problem is, for someone to believe your bullshit, they’d have to be dumber than you are.
      Is that even possible?

  7. PF4L October 10, 2021

    This O line is a hot mess.
    Their piss isn’t running hot.

    1. Dean October 10, 2021

      Missing 3 starters — hopefully Jenkins and Meyer play next week.

      1. PF4L October 10, 2021

        I guess Meyer has a finger injury?
        Good thing he wasn’t playing in the Lombardi era, Nitschke might have kicked his ass for not playing while Lombardi watched..