Bengals vs. Seahawks Game Guide: Lineups, Matchup Breakdown, Injury Report

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Bengals vs. Seahawks Game Guide: Lineups, Matchup Breakdown, Injury Report
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

The Cincinnati Bengals will visit the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday in what many believe will be a low-scoring victory for a team that boasts a top-five defense.

Fans who follow the NFL closely know that the Seahawks should never be counted out at home. That is even more true when compounded with a closer look at the Bengals' performances so far this season.

Cincinnati's wins came over teams with a combined record of 9-16. Granted, they did have an impressive win over the Buffalo Bills, but they simply beat teams (5-14 combined records) that they should have beat in their other three games.

This is a little more than can be said for the Seahawks. Seattle dropped a game in Cleveland they should have won, and had a close loss to the Falcons that could have easily gone the other direction.

Much is being made of the Bengals defense, which ranks fifth in yards allowed, both rushing and passing. On its face it is quite impressive.

Upon further review, though, their performances are much closer to average than elite.

The Bengals are only surrendering 189 net yards per game through the air. However, their opponents are only averaging 188 yards per game, which would rank them 27th as a collective team. Cincinnati is surrendering exactly what would be expected of an average pass defense.

Their most impressive performance was against the San Francisco 49ers. Cincinnati held them to just 50 yards, 81 yards below their average. However, as of Week 3 when this contest was held, the 49ers had been struggling on the ground in a new offense with new blocking schemes.

The rushing side of the equation is a little more impressive. The Bengals are allowing 89.5 yards per game and just 3.3 yards per carry (third). Their opponents are gaining 116 yards per game, which ranks their rushing attack 15th.

San Francisco also made a change on their offense line, replacing Chilo Rachel with Adam Snyder. This helped a team that averaged under 70 yards per game in their first three games (including the Bengals) run for 164, 213 and 203 (193 average) in their next three games.

The Bengals do have a solid run defense, and they could challenge a Seattle offensive line that has struggled so far this season. Their pass defense is suspect, though.


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