Teams that are just beginning to understand what it is like to be in a playoff picture after a long hiatus can sometimes fall short of expectations. This happened to the Bengals last week. After knocking out the Steelers rival, Cincinnati dug a hole 24-0 against the Chargers. It was a desperate Chargers group, but the Bengals still can’t justify the way the game started and the finish was one-sided.
San Francisco will be the second consecutive Californian team to travel west to east to start on the banks of the Ohio River. While Joe Burrow has to deal with a sprained pinky, the Bengals quarterback and his teammates should be ready to take on the challenge this week. They are not based on a historic victory over an opponent in a division. They come out of a humble performance that put them back on track for the AFC playoffs.
The 49ers had a hard time losing to rival Seahawks and ending their three-game winning streak. It’s true that San Francisco will be one of the best attacks Cincinnati has faced this season, but the Bengals are extremely tough against the run and we saw how hard the Nines fought without Dibo Samuel last week. He will probably miss this week too.
I wouldn’t call this a spot for low buying on Bengals, but it’s a good situation. The 49ers are on their second long voyage east in four weeks and have been inactive in week 6, so they are in a tough spot here.
Choice: Bengals -1 1/2