So perhaps Marvin Lewis’ men have a surprise in store? This seems like a poor matchup for a Bengals team still trying to find itself on each side of the ball.
2. The Browns will try to break into the win column at Tennessee.
Meanwhile, Marcus Mariota will look to pad his stats. He accounted for four touchdowns last week, and if he does so against the Browns he will become the first quarterback to have five four-touchdown games in his first 18 games in NFL history.
TAMPA, FL - SEPTEMBER 13: Quarterback Marcus Mariota #8 of the Tennessee Titans throws a twelve yard TD against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the first quarter at Raymond James Stadium on September 13, 2015 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Cliff McBride/Getty Images)
Credit: Cliff McBride
Credit: Cliff McBride
3. The AFC North standings could look pretty ugly for the Ohio teams by Sunday night as the Steelers head to Miami to play the terrible Dolphins.
Pittsburgh could have a three-game lead over the Bengals in the loss column already if it wins and the Bengals fall to the Pats. The Ravens, coming back to Earth after a 3-0 start, travel to New York (close enough) to take on the 2-3 Giants.
4. Also at 1 p.m. Eastern: The return of Collin Kaepernick.
The divisive quarterback has been named the starter this week for the 49ers, who play at Buffalo. He probably won’t be worse than Blaine Gabbert and it may behoove Bengals fans to start rooting for NFC teams in every interconference matchup from here on out in order to make a Wild Card spot more attainable.
5. The Broncos’ loss Thursday night was good news for the Bengals since Denver would hold a tiebreaker over Cincinnati, and the AFC West looks wide open at this point.
The Raiders are in first place right now and play host to Kansas City in an interesting late-afternoon game.
6. The Sunday night game is another boring matchup, but it is an important one in the AFC South between the Texans and Colts.
Houston has a one-game lead over Indy and Tennessee in a division in which every team has been outscored for the season so far.
7. The Monday Night Football game pits the Jets against the Cardinals, two teams that were supposed to be good but aren’t.