Dave Schroeder’s ‘Fast 5 Pack Facts’: Packers at Bengals
Get in the know and ready to go with the ‘Fast Facts’
CINCINNATI, Ohio (WBAY) - As the Green Bay Packers (3-1) get set to face the Cincinnati Bengals (3-1) it’s time to get in the know and ready to go with the ‘Fast Facts.’
#1 Injury Issues: The Packers will have to navigate this trap game without many premier players. All-Pro CB Jaire Alexander was already ruled out before he was placed on Injured Reserve on Saturday. OLB Za’Darius Smith remains on IR, WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling is there as well. And on the offensive line? LT David Bakhtiari remains on the P.U.P. list. And C Josh Myers is out with a finger injury. Fill-in LT Elgton Jenkins is also OUT with a finger injury (after being ruled Questionable on Friday).
#2 Tough Tigers: The Bengals have a couple Tigers of a different stripe: QB Joe Burrow and WR Ja’marr Chase. The former Bayou Bengals teammates helped lead LSU to a national title in college before being reunited in Cincinnati. Burrow was the #1 overall pick last year and Chase was the #5 overall pick this season. Burrow has 9 TD tosses through 4 weeks (ranking 5th in the NFL with 1 more TD throw than Aaron Rdgers) and Chase has 4 TD catches (ranking 2nd only to Cooper Kupp in the NFL). The Bengals’ teammates have shown great chemistry so far.
#3 Bad against the Bengals?: The Packers always seem to struggle against Cincinnati. Aaron Rodgers has only one win against the Bengals, and that required overtime at home 4 years ago. The Bengals always seem to catch the Packers taking a cat nap in meetings. The 2013 loss in Cincy is one of the most bewildering losses Green Bay has suffered in my 10 seasons covering the team. Green Bay had the game all-but-won and was looking to run the clock out with a 4th-down attempt near midfield. Not only did they not get the 1 yard, but RB Jonathan Franklin fumbled, and it was returned all the way for a go-ahead Bengals TD as the Packers lost. Weird things happen in this series, like a Cincy fan streaking on the field and stealing the ball from Brett Favre in the previous meeting here in 2005.
#4 Early Energy Needed: Pair all that history with Green Bay playing its first 12:00 CT game of the year and it has all the trappings of a trap game. Green Bay has played 2 night games and 2 games with 3:25 p.m. CT kicks so far. When the Packers play in the noon time slot, it is usually against an inferior foe on paper. In such games, it can be easy to start slow and risk a letdown. Aaron Rodgers pointed to the Packers’ 3 straight noon games (starting today) as a key stretch where the team will have to get amped up.
#5 Roster wrinkles: Packers GM Brian Gutekunst did a lot of work this to boster the roster in this all-in year. He missed out on scooping up 2019 NFL Defensive Player of the Year, CB Stephon GIlmore, as the Patriots instead traded Gilmore to the Panthers. But then Gutekunst got veteran CB Rasul Douglas. Later in the week? The Packers signed speedy ILB Jaylon Smith, the former 2nd round pick who was released by the Cowboys earlier this week. Smith is nowhere near being up to speed yet, but with his speed and pedigree he could make an impact down the road.
Prediction: Packers 23, Bengals 21
As always tune in to Action 2 News at 5:30 and 10:00 p.m. and then stay up late for the post bestgame show in town, Sunday Sports Night Cover 2 at 10:35 p.m.
Copyright 2021 WBAY. All rights reserved.