The Cincinnati Bengals are in an unfortunate but familiar situation. They’re heading into Week 5 with a 1-3 record, and they’re 0-2 in the division. The good news is, if they win this weekend, they’ll be 2-3 and 0-2 in the division, which is exactly where they were in 2022 before they went on to their second consecutive AFC Championship game.
Of course, that’s looking on the bright side, which is how defensive end and team captain Sam Hubbard is choosing to see things. According to bengals.com’s Geoff Hobson, he arrived at practice on Monday wearing an old Ohio State shirt with the words “We’ll Fight To The End” and “For OHIO!” on it.
“That’s how I operate,” he said. “Our honor defend. We’ll fight to the end to defend.”
The Bengals offense has yet to take off, but the defense has surprisingly struggled as well. There were numerous missed tackles, and for the second time this season, the front seven was unable to stop the run, something they’ve been excellent at over the last couple of years.
Hubbard hasn’t lost faith, though. He knows the Bengals defense has what it takes to turn things around, and it starts with each player looking inward first.
“The key is to just stay the course,” he said. “Start with yourself, start with your position group, start out on your side of the ball, and try to keep getting progressively better. I’ve got a ton of faith in these guys in this locker room. We’ve got a lot of good people so that gives me a lot of hope to go out there and get right back on track.”
The Bengals have two extremely important games coming up before their Week 7 bye. First, they travel to Arizona to take on the Cardinals, and then they face the Seahawks at home. The Cardinals are 1-3, but have shown to be scrappy, and the Seahawks are 3-1 and look every bit as tough as they did last season.
The Bengals need to at least win one of the next two games to stave off any damage to their potential postseason chances. Hubbard is up for the task, and he knows the rest of the defense is too.
“I think we definitely have the want-to, no question about it,” he said. “I think we’ve got guys in this locker room that want to be great. We want to win games. That’s the reason we come to work.”