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Joe Burrow calls Week 5 matchup against the Cardinals a “must win”

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) readies a play against the Tennessee Titans in the fourth quarter at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tenn., Sunday, Oct. 1, 2023.
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If you would have told somebody before the season began that the Cincinnati Bengals would have the same record as the Arizona Cardinals heading into Week 5, well, they probably would not have believed you.

However, that’s precisely the situation now facing Joe Burrow and the Bengals.

While they have had to deal with a number of injuries, the Bengals are dead last in the NFL in terms of offense as they are averaging just 236 yards per game.

Aside from the Bengals and the Giants, no other team is scoring less than 13 points per game.

To provide some context, last year, Cincinnati averaged a solid 26 points per game.

On the defensive front, the situation doesn’t look much brighter.

Over the first four weeks, the Bengals have allowed an average of 157 rushing yards per game, ranking them second worst in the league. This unfortunate combination of factors has left the Bengals with a challenging -45 point differential, the third worst in the entire NFL.

Cincinnati’s upcoming schedule adds to their woes, featuring three consecutive games against NFC West teams, commencing with a showdown against the Cardinals in Arizona this Sunday.

From Joe Burrow’s perspective, this game against Arizona is a “must win”, as the Bengals cannot afford to begin the season at 1-4, especially considering the fierce competition in the AFC.

Given the preseason expectations for the Cardinals. and the Bengals’ recent history of consecutive playoff appearances, this sense of urgency is not one that many would have anticipated for this matchup.

The Bengals are coming off an embarrassing 27-3 loss to the Titans, they have yet to win a game on the road this season.

Yet, although the Cardinals are statistically better in just about every category, the Bengals do hold a slight edge in the betting odds.

The Bengals will enter this matchup as -166 favorites, kickoff is scheduled for 1:05 PM.


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