Sunday’s Bengals vs. Bills matchup is one of five games between an 0-2 team and 2-0 team this week. Unfortunately for the Bengals, they are one of the nine clubs to open the season 0-2, giving them a historically minimal chance at making the playoffs this year (about 10%).
Could it be worse? Well, there have been 98 teams in the last 20 seasons to start 0-3. Only one of them—last year’s Texans—made the playoffs. Deshaun Watson isn’t quarterbacking this team, so the Bengals are probably screwed if they drop this game.
After a 6-10 season last year, the Bills are already one-third of the way to match that win total this season after taking care of both New York teams in Weeks 1 and 2. Their offense is slightly improved thanks to the growth quarterback Josh Allen has made in his second year, but their defense is still their money maker. They ranked 12th in defensive DVOA and seventh in Expected Points contributed by the defense through two weeks.
For as bad as the Bengals’ defense was last week, their offense, as a whole, isn’t performing much better. They currently ranked 30th in defensive DVOA and 29th in offensive DVOA. Pretty much anything you can name regarding the Bengals’ roster—aside from the receivers—is a problem right now, and playing on the road against a winning team, it makes sense why the Bills are a near-touchdown favorite at home.
If Cincinnati have anything going for them, it’s desperation. There may be 13 games left on the schedule after this one, but the hill to climb will be nearly impossible if they can’t secure their first win in Buffalo.
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