SAN FRANCISCO – The San Francisco 49ers immediately went from NFL undefeated to 5-2 in a flurry of back-to-back losses. Injuries took a toll on this team and the upcoming game against the Cincinnati Bengals feels like a must-win. The same could be said for the Bengals because the first six games did not go their way overall. The AFC North division favorite stumbled out of the gates from week one on for a few weeks. The Bengals won two straight games and look to be back on track.
Will the Bengals’ defense have its way against quarterback Brock Purdy? The Bengals defense definitely looks like it needs to make a lot of big plays to get this vital road win. The Bengals suddenly look like the underdog in the AFC North so a third consecutive win would be the momentum boost the team needs.
The problem for Cincinnati is that the team ranks last in the NFL in total offense. The team also has one of the worst defenses statistically. For the AFC North’s “heavy favorite”, this team is doing virtually nothing to according to the stars but the two-game winning streak and 3-3 record show a different story altogether. Is this team on the path to coming back in the NFL’s toughest division record-wise in 2023? Receivers Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, and Tyler Boyd all need to step up against this tough, physical 49ers defense. Running back Joe Mixon needs to have a big game too for Cincinnati to have a chance.
San Francisco’s season looks very different. San Francisco has the eighth-best total offense and seventh-best total defense. Yet, with key injuries, the team lost two straight games and is desperate for a win at 5-2.
The 49ers might not have quarterback Purdy and running back Christian McCaffrey available in this game due to injuries. Receiver Deebo Samuel was listed as out. Left tackle Trent Williams might not play. San Francisco might rely on receiver Brandon Aiyuk to have a big game as well as Tight End George Kittle.
The Bengals also face several injuries including left tackle Trent Orlando Brown. Linebacker Akeem Davis-Gaither was listed as out.
Which of these teams will prevail? This game will be very interesting.
Bengals 27 49ers 17
Other key games
Pittsburgh Steelers (4-2) vs Jacksonville Jaguars (5-2)
Detroit Lions (5-2) vs Las Vegas Raiders (3-4)
Dallas Cowboys (4-2) vs Los Angeles Rams (3-4)
Seattle Seahawks (4-2) vs Cleveland Browns (4-2)
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