Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase were teammates back at LSU. And when it came time for the draft, the Cincinnati Bengals passed on the chance to take an offensive lineman, instead grabbing Chase in the first round.
That was fortuitous, as Chase set rookie records and helped the Bengals reach the Super Bowl. This is a passing attack greatly dependent upon him, and now Cincy has to come up with a way to thrive as he sits out some time with a hip injury.
Maybe the last thing they need to find is an opponent that suddenly believes in itself and has, by some metrics anyway, a top-ten defense. That’s the Carolina Panthers, who come to Paycor Stadium at 1 PM ET on Sunday. Let’s take a look:
CAROLINA PANTHERS at CINCINNATI BENGALS
BetOnline NFL Odds: Bengals -7 (-115)
With regard to the possibility of “addition by subtraction,” let’s go on record as saying that we don’t necessarily think that is the case with the Panthers after trading both Robbie Anderson and Christian McCaffrey. This team has simply put together a couple of inspired efforts in a row, and they really should be sitting with a share of the NFC South lead.
Against Atlanta, they tied it up on a long pass from PJ Walker to DJ Moore with time running out. Then Eddy Piniero missed a 48-yard extra point after Moore committed an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Then in overtime, Piniero missed a field goal. They did not cut Piniero, and that’s where I cringe a little.
But these guys seem to have taken to Walker as a leader, and we’re not sure what that means for the future of Baker Mayfield or Sam Darnold in Charlotte. He has demonstrated that he can handle the added responsibility of an expanded playbook, and so after he was held back to short passes against the Rams, he’s been letting it fly here and there.
Chuba Hubbard is out for another week. But hey – D’Onta Foreman had 118 yards against the Falcons, and the Bengals did not answer the bell last week against the Cleveland ground attack (172 yards). That’s not been an isolated case.
What Cincinnati really needs is a running game right now. When Ja’Marr Chase went down with a hip injury, that had a residual effect on the productivity of Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd (three catches apiece last Monday), but they only had 36 yards rushing. Only two NFL teams have gained fewer yards on the ground.
If you haven’t heard of Brian Burns, you will. As the trade deadline approached, everybody wanted to put together a deal for the young star pass rusher, especially on top NFL betting sites. But he’s one guy the Panthers aren’t looking to deal away. This week that could be bad news for Joe Burrow this week, as he was sacked five more times on Monday night.
There are many worse things you can do here than take the points.
LAS VEGAS RAIDERS at JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS
NFL Odds: Raiders -2.5 (-114)
Total: 48 points (Over -112, Under -108)
Let’s see if we can get this straight – a few weeks ago, Trevor Lawrence became the first quarterback in the history of the NFL to have more than 20 pass attempts, 90% or better completions, three TD’s, and no turnovers, and STILL lose a game. Then the Jags got to within a yard or two of winning against a hot New York Giants team. And then they came up with a come-from-ahead loss to Russell Wilson and the sputtering Denver Broncos.
In other words, they have been finding a way to lose.
The Raiders are seeking redemption for one of the most awful efforts in recent years, as their yardage was doubled in a 24-0 loss at New Orleans. An illness is said to have spread through the team (non-COVID, we’re told), and that affected the performance of virtually everyone. That included Derek Carr (101 passing yards) and Davante Adams (one reception, three yards). Adams has returned to practice, and it is safe to say that if Josh McDaniels wants to hold on to his job, he better coax solid efforts out of situations like this.
The Play: RAIDERS -2.5 (-114)
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