In what is one of the biggest games on the schedule this week, the Seattle Seahawks will pay a visit to the Cincinnati Bengals. It’s a game that will answer several questions about both teams and their legitimacy as contenders. What do we make of Seattle’s offense this year? Will the Bengals finally win a playoff game? The point spread is currently favoring the Bengals at -3 to upset the Seahawks.
Point Spread: Bengals -3 Over/under: 43.5 Date: Sunday, October 11, 1pm ET Location:Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, OH
No one is certain what to make of Seattle’s offense this year. Part of the reason they’ve struggled is due to Marshawn Lynch being out of the line up due to a nagging injury, but the team simply hasn’t been able to move the ball like they have in the past. They’ll face a Bengals defense built to stop the run, which takes away the Seahawks bread and butter. Without an effective running game, a weak offensive line has forced Russell Wilson to throw on the run, where he has lacked accuracy so far.
With Kam Chancellor ending his holdout, Seattle has looked much better on defense. They face a big test in stopping Andy Dalton and A.J. Green from putting up big numbers; something few teams they’ve faced this year have been able to do en route to a 4-0 record. The 3-point underdog Seahawks need also to worry about the Bengals’ running game as they currently rank no. 7 in the league, averaging 128 yards on the ground per game. Seattle is outmatched against Cincinnati’s offense, which could put them in a pick your poison scenario.
This game will be won by the Bengals offense, which needs a statement win to prove they’re not the same team that has lost in the Wild Card round of the playoffs for four years straight. Expect a merciless attack both in the air and on the ground. A.J. Green has begun the season red hot, but could be used as a decoy against the tough Seattle secondary. Gio Bernard and Jeremy Hill will get plenty of carries each in hopes of tiring out the Seahawks defense and making them susceptible to the big play.
The Bengals’ strengths in rushing defense match up well against the Seahawks, who rely on their running game to move the chains. If Lynch is out for the second week in a row, Cincinnati could make the Seahawks look downright awful on offense. With a weak offensive line, receivers who don’t improvise well and the most sacked quarterback in the league, no one is fearing Seattle’s air attack. The Bengals can take this one dimensional offense and make it no dimensional.
A big game brings out the best in two teams and this one has intense written all over it. Seattle is playing to regain their identity, while Cincinnati is playing for respect. If this game was played in Seattle, the odds might tip in their favor, but they’ve lost both games played on the road so far and the Bengals are simply too complete of a team to lose at home to this Seahawks team.