The Bengals struggle in primetime. We've established that by now, and until the Bengals defeat quality opponents on a consistent basis when the lights are shining brightest, the coaches and players will continue to face questions of their shortcomings in this setting.
That was the case Thursday as the team met with the media prior to their first pre-Broncos practice, which happens to be on Monday Night Football in a game not many think Cincinnati can win.
A big reason why is the matchup of quarterbacks, and Marvin Lewis was pretty blunt in explaining why the Bengals don't often win in primetime.
Marvin on recent primetime problems: The other team's quarterback has played better. #Bengals @FOX19— Jeremy Rauch (@FOX19Jeremy) December 18, 2014
That's a bit of a shot at Andy Dalton, who has rarely played well in front of a primetime audience. It isn't getting any easier this week when he goes against Peyton Manning.
Manning once again has the Broncos among the NFL's elite at 11-3, while Dalton has been his up-and-down self in helping Cincinnati go 9-4-1. However, that includes an 0-2 mark in primetime games this year, and he's 2-6 in his eight career primetime games.
Just look at his career passer rating in primetime games:
Those wondering if the Bengals have a chance to beat the Broncos on Monday Night Football- Prime Time Dalton, baby! pic.twitter.com/Gm9s2nwLVj— Rich Hill (@PP_Rich_Hill) December 16, 2014
Simply put, if Dalton doesn't play well in this game, don't expect the Bengals to win against a Broncos team that ranks fourth in both total offense and defense.