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The Cincinnati Bengals search for a rebound game against another NFC North foe when they visit the Detroit Lions this weekend.
Cincinnati dropped an overtime affair against Green Bay last week to move to 3-2. But the schedule serves up a good-looking matchup against these winless Lions.
But the Bengals have to avoid a letdown while also undergoing some shuffling along the offensive line again and these Lions haven’t exactly looked like a winless team. Here’s everything to know about the matchup.
Cincinnati Bengals at Detroit Lions on Sunday, October 17 (1 p.m. ET)
TV info: Fox
In-market live stream: fuboTV (try it for free).
Radio: Cincinnati – WCKY-AM (1530), Cincinnati – WEBN-FM (102.7), Cincinnati – WLW-AM (700)
Location: Ford Field
Forecast: Cloudy, 63 degrees
Referee: Shawn Hochuli
Opponent Wire site: Lions Wire
Last meeting: Bengals 26, Lions 16 (Week 15, 2017)
Dec 24, 2017; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals tight end C.J. Uzomah (87) reacts after scoring a touchdown against the Detroit Lions during the second half at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports
The Bengals eliminated the Lions from playoff contention with this win as Andy Dalton threw one score and Giovani Bernard rushed for a touchdown. Overall, the Bengals dominate this series 9-3-0, with Detroit’s only wins coming in 1992, 1974 and 1970.
Lions QB: Jared Goff
Oct 10, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff (16) sets the play against the Minnesota Vikings during the first quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Goff has had a ho-hum start to his career with the Lions, completing 66.8 percent of his passes with seven touchdowns against three interceptions. His 6.6 yards per attempt are the lowest mark of his career since his rookie season, though Detroit isn’t doing much to help him with the talent they’ve put around him.
Lions players to watch
Oct 10, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff (16) and running back D’Andre Swift (32) in action during the game between the Detroit Lions and the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
RB D’Andre Swift: The-up-and-coming back has two rushing scores and also leads the Lions in receiving with 29 catches for 252 yards and one score.
TE T.J. Hockenson: The former first-rounder has scored twice and averages nearly 10 yards per catch. He could be a matchup nightmare for a Bengals team that historically struggles against tight ends.
CB Amani Oruwariye: He’s picked off two passes already and while Joe Burrow will probably test him, he’s one the quarterback might identify on every play.
LB Charles Harris: The former first-rounder is having a breakout of sorts with a team-high four sacks and he might have enough juice to give a spotty Bengals line some problems.
Injuries to know
Oct 10, 2021; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon (28) reacts after moving the ball forward against the Green Bay Packers in the first half at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports
Zac Taylor said Joe Mixon won’t have any restrictions this week despite his “questionable” tag on the injury report. Rookie Jackson Carman seems like a 50-50 chance to play after spending all week on the COVID list and not practicing. Joe Burrow is fine after a throat injury. The Lions have four players questionable, though none of it seems serious.
Key matchup: Bengals OL vs. Lions DL
The Lions don’t have a ton of big defensive stats, but names like Trey Flowers and Charles Harris could still cause problems for a Bengals line that hasn’t been able to establish any chemistry. Trey Hopkins has struggled to get back to form at center and right guard has been a revolving door. If the unit can’t get it together against a bad team, it doesn’t bode well for future weeks, let alone avoiding suffering an upset at the hands of a winless team.
Key Storyline: Joe Burrow
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) reacts after throwing an interception in overtime of a Week 5 NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers, Sunday, Oct. 10, 2021, at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati. The Green Bay Packers won, 25-22.
Green Bay Packers At Cincinnati Bengals Oct 10
Every storyline point branches off of this one — can Burrow play well and not get himself hurt? Burrow’s refusal to slide last week earned him a trip to the blue medical tent, then a precautionary hospital trip. He’s been great, if not better than expected in all facets, but he’s got to protect himself or his season could go off the rails quickly. The play-calling needs to be much better too, but Burrow can’t torch defenses if he’s out of the game (or making costly mistakes like that brutal interception late against Green Bay).