Each and every one of you must admit that you have been teased before by the Cincinnati Bengals. Don’t you remember that this is the team that has the capacity to look so awesome but can’t seem to win a playoff game?
They unquestionably disappointed some football bettors who placed faith in them before last year’s first-round post-season contest against the San Diego Chargers, who really and truly backed into the playoffs, when they could not get the job done at Paul Brown Stadium.
Okay, these guys are back. And maybe they are doing a few things differently. By “differently,” we mean a little better. After one month of the season, there are only two unbeaten teams left in the NFL, and Cincinnati is one of them. They put that undefeated (3-0) record at risk against the New England Patriots in the Sunday night game that will be televised on NBC (8:30 PM ET). How much risk they are taking is a subject that is highly debatable, it seems. You see, these are not your older brother’s Patriots. Those guys would never have given up 303 yards in a single half to the Kansas City Chiefs and suffered a humiliating 41-14 defeat, as the Pats did on Monday. But then, the veterans at the core of the New England team have shown the heart of a champion, while the Bengals, frankly, have not.
In the Sunday night football betting odds that are posted on this game at America’s Bookie, the Bengals are laying the slightest of numbers:
Cincinnati Bengals -1
New England Patriots +1
Over 46 Points -110
Under 46 Points -110
This is indeed a test of this Cincinnati team, because when you look at some of the limitations surrounding New England, there would appear to be no reason they could not hammer another nail in Tom Brady & Co.’s coffin. After all, they are doing some of the things the Pats simply aren’t doing.
For example, they are protecting their quarterback. In the “did you know?” category, have any football bettors taken notice that the Bengals are the only team in the league that has not given up a sack? This is obviously one of the very good reasons that Andy Dalton has gotten off to a nice start. Dalton, not known to have one of the NFL’s rocket arms, has connected on 65.5% of his passes and averaged 8.6 yards an attempt. America’s Bookie customers will recognize that to compare rather favorably with Brady’s figure of 5.8 yards.
Dalton may also have more capability to distribute between his superstar wideout AJ Green (12 catches, 233 yards) and Mohamed Sanu (12 catches, 164 yards), perhaps mitigating the effect of a big knock on this offense in the past, as one where teams could afford to focus disproportionate attention on Green. We’ll see as time progresses. But we know that Sanu had better be good on Sunday night, if Darrelle Revis has any kind of success against Green.
The guy who sort of fulfills the “Matt Forte” function for Cincinnati is Giovanni Bernard, the second-year back out of North Carolina who is perhaps more valuable as a pass-catcher than as a ball-carrier. But still it would help a great deal if this team was able to convert more than 35% of its third downs. The Pats might be down, but they are not out, and America’s Bookie patrons needs to know that this is still ‘proving time” for the guys in tiger stripes.
For more information on this game, click here.