In the last 20 seasons, 167 NFL teams have started a season 0-2. Just 17 of them have made the playoffs that same year, a rate of about one every 10.
Sitting at a record of 0-1, the Bengals’ home opener against the 49ers is of paramount importance, if it wasn’t already aside from this sobering stat.
Cincinnati’s average attendance for last season was about 50,000, which put them in the basement compared to the rest of the league. To say that this was something helped urge the front office to replace Marvin Lewis with a coach like Zac Taylor would be an understatement. It’s safe to say more than 50,000 will be on hand to witness Taylor’s first game in The Jungle.
What team do they expect to see before them? If their Week 1 performance against the Seahawks is any indication, a team that’s more hungry than ever. Andy Dalton passed for a career-high (and Week 1 NFL-high) 418 yards to go with two touchdowns, both ending up in the arms of John Ross. Lou Anarumo’s energized defense held the Seahawks to 233 yards and currently rank ninth in expected points. Despite the one-point loss, things are looking up on both sides of the ball.
It wasn’t all pretty though, as Seattle’s defensive front eventually got the better of Cincinnati’s offensive line. This problem may carry over to this week as San Francisco’s pass-rush is just as—if not more—ferocious than Seattle’s. That defensive line is so good that they beat the Buccaneers by 14 points despite an underwhelming performance from quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who is making his *starting* debut against the Bengals on Sunday.
For all things Bengals vs. 49ers, follow this stream so you don’t miss out on any updates and analysis pertaining to the Bengals home opener!