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Cincinnati Bengals have chance to announce themselves vs. Packers

The Cincinnati Bengals have long been an inconsequential team. They can change that narrative (and reality) on Sunday against the Packers.

No NFL team has been more irrelevant over the past 30 years than the Cincinnati Bengals.

The last time Cincinnati won a playoff game was the 1990 AFC Wild Card, beating Cody Carlson and the Houston Oilers. Yes, a backup quarterback on a franchise that no longer exists.

For the Bengals, it’s been a long three decades since. Cincinnati made the postseason five straight times from 2011-15 with Andy Dalton at the helm, but it was one-and-done every time.


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After bottoming out in 2019 at 2-14, the Bengals received the No. 1 overall pick and selected Joe Burrow. Less than a season into his career, torn knee ligaments. Uncertainty.

Now? Things are looking up. The Bengals are a surprising 3-1, with wins over the Minnesota Vikings, Pittsburgh Steelers and Jacksonville Jaguars. You might notice each of those three teams are one-win squads. Enter the Green Bay Packers, who come to the Queen City at 3-1 with Aaron Rodgers under center.

Green Bay has been a power for those aforementioned 30 years, rolling behind the combination of Brett Favre and Rodgers. The Packers have reached three Super Bowls and won twice, and are one of the favorites to be playing this February at SoFi Stadium.


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In short, the wins for Cincinnati over Minnesota, Jacksonville and Pittsburgh are fine, but they don’t move the national needle. They aren’t signature victories. Beating the Packers would be exactly that on all fronts.

Looking at the line, the Packers are a road favorite, laying three points. However, Green Bay is dealing with significant injury issues. Star cornerback Jaire Alexander was placed on the Injured Reserve list on Saturday with a shoulder injury. The Packers will also be without center Josh Myers while guard Elgton Jenkins is questionable.

From an offensive standpoint, the Bengals can take advantage of Alexander’s absence with a terrific trio of receivers in Tee Higgins, Ja’Marr Chase and Tyler Boyd. Burrow being aggressive early to attack Green Bay would both get the crowd energized and put the Packers on their heels.

If the Bengals lose, it’s far from crushing. Cincinnati would be 3-2 with a loss coming out-of-conference. It’s a non-story.

But if the Bengals win, it’s a revelation. It changes the narrative, one that has been entrenched longer than Burrow has been alive.

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