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Packers Periscope: Week 3 vs. Cincinnati Bengals

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Packers Periscope: Week 3 vs. Cincinnati Bengals

The Green Bay Packers welcome the Cincinnati Bengals to Lambeau Field on Sunday for just the sixth time in the 46-year history of this match up.  The Packers will look to bounce back from last week's loss to the Atlanta 
Falcons as the Bengals are still in search of their first win this season.  

The Past

Only 12 games have taken place in this series that the Bengals lead with a 7-5 record.  Cincinnati has won the last three (2005, 2009 and 2013).  But the most historic game of the 12 came 25 years ago this week. 

September 20, 1992 is a date many Packers fans remember well.  It was the day that Brett Favre became the Packers quarterback with a thrilling late touchdown drive to beat the Bengals.  That moment, many can argue, changed the Packers' franchise.  From there, the team would go on to attract better players, win many games and appear in two Super Bowls before the 1990's were done.

The Packers won the next two games after that and with the the most recent in this series coming in 1998, nearly 20 years ago.  That game featured Raymont Harris as the Packers running back and Reggie White was still roaming in the Packers defense.  Vonnie Holliday was a wide-eyed rookie and Neil O'Donnell was Cincinnati's quarterback.

The Bengals won a sloppy one in 2005, the year the Packers were just 4-12.  In 2009, Cincinnati stole one at Lambeau Field and Chad "Ochocinco" Johnson did a Lambeau Leap after a touchdown catch.  Aaron Rodgers was under heavy pressure as back up tackle Allen Babre played the role of turn style that day.

The latest game in this match up turned out to be more exciting that it should have been and, for Packers fans, a disaster to forget.  It was also a week three game in which the Packers entered the fourth quarter up 30-21.  There had been some tension on the sideline between Rodgers and Head Coach Mike McCarthy that was caught on TV.  Both teams had four turnovers on the day.

Jonathan Franklin filled in for an injured James Starks and racked up 103 rushing yards and a touchdown.  But it was Franklin's last rushing attempt that sealed Green Bay's fate.  He fumbled late in the fourth quarter with the Bengals recovering the ball.  Rodgers stripped it loose during the run back but Terrance Newman was able to scoop it up and take it in for the winning score.

It's time to end this Bengals winning streak.

The Present

The Packers currently boast the NFL's fourth-best offense by yards per game with 297.  The Bengals, despite their 0-2 record, currently lead the league in passing defense with just 104.5 yards per game allowed.  That stat is inflated, however, when you consider that Cincinnati has one of the worst run defenses, allowing a gaudy 162.5 yards per game.  Green Bay is averaging just 71.5 yards per game on the ground.

In week one, the Bengals failed to score a point against the Baltimore Ravens.  Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco threw just 21 times while their offense racked up 42 rushing attempts for 157 yards.  Last week against Houston, the Texans rushed 35 times for 168 yards, largely to keep some of the pressure off of rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson.  The Bengals obliged.

Green Bay's defense struggled early last week against Julio Jones and Mohammed Sanu.  Cincinnati's A.J. Green will test a young Packers secondary that could see rookie Kevin King getting his first start.  The Bengals spread the ball among seven different receivers last week, including four to running backs.  Cincinnati is still looking for their first touchdown this season.

This week, McCarthy heaped praise on Bengals Head Coach Marvin Lewis, saying that Lewis has been, is and always will be a good coach.  Lewis took over as head coach in Cincinnati in 2003 and has led the Bengals to a 118-105-3 record in that span.  He is, however, 0-7 in the postseason, including five-straight losses from 2011 - 2015.  An 0-3 start could spell more trouble for Lewis.

On the injury front, the Packers have seen a week of mixed news.  Jordy Nelson and Jahri Evans both left the Atlanta game but appear on track to play this week.  Linebacker Ahmad Brooks is back at practice after missing last week following a concussion in week one.  Offensive lineman Bryan Bulaga is also practicing and appears headed towards making his regular season debut after missing the first two games. 

Also possibly making his debut is defensive lineman Montravious Adams, who has been a full participant at practice this week.

On the other side of that equation are Mike Daniels, Nick Perry, Randall Cobb, Davon House, Jake Ryan, Kentrell Brice and David Bahktiari, all of whom have not practiced yet this week. 

It was announced that Perry is having surgery on a finger soon and will not play this week.  This was a bit of a surprise as Perry hasn't been as oft-mentioned among the many injuries the Packers are already dealing with.

The Packers brought back Ricky Jean-Francois and with Adams close to playing, that would seem to indicate that Daniels will likely miss more time recovering from what is being listed as a hip injury on the Packers team website.  Offensive lineman Jason Spriggs was placed on injured reserve to make room for RJF.

Speaking of the offensive line, Bakhtiari missed last week's game with a hamstring injury and his status for this week is unknown.  Kyle Murphy filled in for Bakhtiari at left tackle against the Falcons and managed to turn in a decent night despite allowing a sack and pressures.  With a short week following this game, I'd expect the Packers to hold Bakhtiari out against the Bengals.

If House is not able to go this week, rookie Kevin King will almost certainly see his snaps and more playing time.  Earlier this week, McCarthy said that King has earned the right to potentially see more playing time.  King didn't allow any completions and had a nice pass break up on Jones last week.

Rookie safety Josh Jones will also likely see more snaps this week with Brice missing practice due to a groin injury.

The Bengals aren't likely to have tight end Tyler Eiffert available due to a back injury.  Eiffert has been a favorite target of Dalton's over the past five seasons.

The Future

Assuming the Packers have enough guys to field a team (I joke, I joke), they should still be able to find their way against Cincinnati.  The Bengals are the only team (besides the Packers) against whom Aaron Rodgers hasn't led his team to victory.  As cerebral as the quarterback is, he's aware of this factoid.  It's not something that will put a chip on Rodgers' shoulder, but he'll want to join the limited ranks of past quarterbacks who have done the same.

The Packers offense hasn't looked anything close to a well-oiled machine through two games.  They historically take time to reach their peak but this game would seem to be an opportunity for them to take some steps forward.  With Cobb likely out, Trevor Davis may get some additional snaps on offense.  Watch Geronimo Allison's snap count.  He didn't have a particularly good game last week and that's not something often lost on McCarthy.

Tight ends Martellus Bennett and Lance Kendricks could also use a good day.  Their development into the game plan is going to become key as the season wears on and the weather turns.  Bennett, so far, has many longing for the days of Jared Cook.  They're not the same type of player, but Bennett was anything but reliable last week with multiple drops.

I mentioned the Bengals run defense so look for the Packers to get Ty Montgomery going early.  If the Packers have the same success the Ravens and Texans did, Jamaal Williams, Aaron Jones and/or Devante Mays may also get in on the fun.  Long drives are needed to keep the defense fresh and with several guys out.

On defense, the Packers will be dealing with an offense under a new offensive coordinator.  Bill Lazor replaced Ken Zampese, who was let go after the sluggish start.  The Bengals are underdogs in this game so look for them to try and crate mismatches and use the speed of their offense to their advantage.

Receivers A.J. Green and John Ross are both fast and can easily get behind a defense that's not paying attention.  But with Eifert out and an offensive line that isn't one of the better groups in the league, Cincinnati's weaponry is limited.  Green Bay's secondary should be able to handle the work load.  

I have the Packers winning this one and while it might be closer than it should be, they get back on track with an opportunity to do it all over again four days later against the Bears.






-- Jason is a freelance writer and has been on staff since 2012.  You can follow him on Twitter here

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (14) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

cuervo's picture

With the injury to House, the Packers need to start King and Hawkins. They cannot be worse than Randall and Rollins, let those two fight over the slot position.

Regardless of players draft status, at some time you have to play the players that give you the best chance of winning, We know what Randall and Rollins give us, we don't know what Hawkins (or for that matter Pipkens) give us.

Nick Perry's picture

I'm down for Hawkins to get some playing time, I'm just not down with Pipkens.... Would like to see Josh Jones get some time. Will he make some mistakes? Probably, but he'll get some valuable playing time which will serve him better at the end of the year. The Bengals have SPEED all over that offense. Jones is fast, the Packers will need that speed on Sunday.

It's TIME the Packers started getting something from the high draft choices before year 2 or 3. Can't get better from the bench every week.

cuervo's picture

I agree, Pipkens may be a long shot but Hawkins sould be given an opportunity. At the very least he is fast and quick, which Randall and Rollins have shown they are not.

With the injury to Brice, Jones should be playing a lot. This is the perfect game to get these guys some playing time, and if we get a big lead, that's when they should add Pipkens to the mix.

I think everyone can see that Randall and Rollins are, at best, depth corners on somebody's team. They are not #1, 2, or 3 corners...period. Time for the Packers to stop pretending they are.

Tundraboy's picture

"It's TIME the Packers started getting something from the high draft choices before year 2 or 3. Can't get better from the bench every week."

Can't get better from the bench is right NP!!!
I want to see some of the players who showed something in preseason getting some experience in real games. Aaron Jones, May's, Hawkins and Evans as well. With all the injuries especially, bringing along players slowly makes even less sense.

Nick Perry's picture

Right TB?? I'd really like to start seeing Aaron Jones for example get some snaps. He reminds me a little bit of Franklin who I was actually higher on than Lacy. Last week on turf against Atlanta might have been a good time to get him on the field, this week it's DEFINITELY a good time to get him involved.

RCPackerFan's picture

Going into this game with the amount of injuries they have had to me they had a bit of good luck so far. The way I look at it, their chances of winning greatly improve if they can at least 1 of Nelson/Cobb and Bakhtiari/Bulaga play. Right now it looks like Nelson and Bulaga have a good chance of playing.

On offense I think we will see a lot more of Kendricks being used. With Cobb being injured and maybe not playing I think we will see them using Kendricks more. I also think we will see more of the rookie RB's. They have mentioned that they Montgomery's snap count is way to high. I think we will get a bigger glipse of our rookie RB's this week.

On defense I think we are going to get to see King and Jones a lot more. With Brice likely not to play Jones will likely see the field a lot. King maybe our best CB already and might be the only guy that can slow Green down. He has the size to matchup with him.

If House can't play, don't be surprised to see Hawkins playing some. He was one of the players that I thought really took a year 2 jump in the preseason. If he gets on the field don't be surprised if he plays really well.

Nick Perry's picture

Kevin King becomes a full time starting CB for the Green Bay Packers Sunday and will remain there for good. King took advantage of the R & R Boys poor play and DESERVES to be starting. Randall and Rollins get closer and closer to earn the label BUST with each passing week. There's still hope the light comes on, but it's getting dimmer and dimmer each week.

If the Packers hold the Bengals to 250 yards in total offense this week I'm not getting too excited like I did in week one. Fool me once shame on you. Fool me twice shame on me!

Bennett and Kendricks both have big games and so does Montgomery. Geronimo also has a good game with at least three 3rd down conversions.

Packers win this one 38 -10.

RCPackerFan's picture

I agree with King. To be honest, I like that they let King come in and play when he was ready vs forcing him to be the starter week 1. I like letting rookies earn there way onto the field.

I think Jones might struggle some, but part of that is because they have had him learning 2 positions (S and hybrid ILB/S or Nitro LB). But I think by the end of the year both players will be significant players for us.

Don't be surprised if they get the rookie RB's more involved this week also. I agree that Montgomery has a big game, but I think they will try to get his snap count down. Hopefully giving Jones some of his snaps.

flackcatcher's picture

A lot will depend on the health of both lines Sunday. We still have no word on both starting OT. And having the top three DL hurt (Daniels is likely out for this Sunday) puts an linebacker group down it's best player under even more pressure. Packers should win if, IF they get one of the two B's back.

RCPackerFan's picture

Completely agree. That's why I'm quietly nervous about this game.

If Bulaga can play I think we win. He has practiced the last 2 days. Though he was limited yesterday that could be due to them being in padded practice.

The Front 7 of the D will be impacted for sure. I will assume Daniels and Perry are out. I also assume Ryan will be out. That means 3 starters will be out in the front 7.
Luckily we have Brooks to fill in for Perry. And I don't think there is really much of a drop off from Ryan to Matrinez/Thomas.
There is a huge drop off from Daniels to everyone else though. But bringing Francois helps fill the void.

flackcatcher's picture

I want the Packers to get out of this game clean. No serious injury, no injuries period. I know that is too much to ask for. (football and all ) 2 games in 4 days is going to be dangerous for this team, and we are going to find out how deep the talent on this club is.

tincada's picture


Seriously? You don't know how 'deep" the talent is? It's as deep as Terrible Ted's shackled wallet, undrafted rookies, cheap free agents and a few rookies that he places his life on. Yo, Ted, AR was a long time ago and a one in a million and now you're short changing him. . Time to move on to Detroit as long as TT is left to short change this great team.

Since '61's picture

For the Packers defense, first stop the run force Dalton to pass and put King on AJ Green. Bring in J. Jones as the hybrid, Hawkins for House, Brooks for Perry and at least we have more speed on the field. Not much film exists on King, Hawkins and Jones and that could work to our advantage against Dalton.
Offense be aggressive until we have a 10+ point lead.
Then go power football with 2TEs and Rip as the lead blocker for Monty. That will take the pressure off of AR and any backup OLs in the game while simultaneously chewing the clock and wearing out the Cincy defense.
Go Pack Go! Thanks, Since '61

tincada's picture

"at some time you have to" let Terrible Ted go and bring on a fresh approach to building a team that'll get get you beyond a few play off games. Look the Packers have tried TT's cheap approach to bringin in undrafted cheap $ rookies, bottom feeding vets that no one wants and a few drafted rookies that have no idea what the NFL is about. I'm actually hoping the Lions kick the Packers ass at home if that what it takes to get rid of TT.

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"The Bears still suck!"
"I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle – victorious."
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