Both teams sit at 1-1 and although it is still early, one team is looking to pocket a second victory against a quality opponent before their schedules really start to take shape.
Cincinnati is coming off a 34-27 win at home against its in-state rival Cleveland Browns. The victory was less than impressive, as the Bengals defense allowed rookie quarterback Brandon Weeden to throw for more than 300 yards and two touchdowns.
However, Andy Dalton and Co. moved the ball at will against the Browns defense to grind out the win.
While Jeff Fisher has the Rams playing much better, Robert Griffin III and the Redskins have to be disappointed after the defeat, especially after stealing one from Drew Brees and the Saints the previous week.
If either team wants to keep pace in its respective division, a win this week could go a long way toward keeping itself relevant all season.
Here is one bold prediction for each team in Sunday’s game:
Andy Dalton Throws for 300 Yards and 3 Touchdowns in Back-to-Back Games for First Time in Career
Dalton is coming off an impressive performance against the Browns, throwing for 318 yards and three touchdowns. He was able to spread the ball around, as six different receivers tallied multiple receptions and three of them scored touchdowns.
The second-year quarterback’s group of weapons includes AJ Green, one of the most dynamic young wideouts in the NFL. Green caught the ball seven times for 58 yards and a touchdown—not stellar numbers, but his contributions definitely helped lead to the victory.
If the Bengals want to keep pace with Redskins on Sunday, Dalton has to find similar success through the air. That shouldn’t be too hard considering Washington is tied for second-worst in passing yards allowed with 313.5 per game this season. That includes 310 yards and three touchdowns to Rams’ quarterback Sam Bradford last week.
RGIII Has Best Game as a Pro with More than 400 Yards of Total Offense and 3 Touchdowns
Griffin is finding similar success to what Cam Newton had last year in his rookie season with the Carolina Panthers. Through his first two games, no team has been able to harness the rookie as he has tallied 650 total yards and five touchdowns.
The Bengals aren’t much better against the pass than the Redskins, giving up an average of 308.5 yards through the season’s first two games. The difference with Cincinnati’s defense is that it has also been consistently beaten on the ground, allowing opponents 126 rushing yards per game.
Griffin should be amped up for this game. He is playing in front of his home crowd for the first time and against a defense that has been vulnerable to his two strengths.