49ers @ Bengals, Week 14
Like the Titans, it’s kind of hard to make out exactly what kind of team the Niners’ next opponent, the Cincinnati Bengals, is this season.
Kyle Juszczyk used Cincy as an example of just how good a team can look before crashing down to earth and looking terrible, and even Cincinnati’s last two games provide a window into the kind of inconsistencies any team can go through over the course of a year:
- Week 12 win vs. Steelers: 41-10
- Week 13 loss vs. Chargers: 41-22
About the only other takeaways, aside from not knowing what to expect from head coach Zac Taylor’s squad, is 41 points from one team or the other might be the case.
The Bengals still own the league’s No. 8 scoring offense, and quarterback Joe Burrow has taken a good measure of wide receivers Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd, creating a mismatch against a questionable San Francisco secondary in Week 14. And to make things worse, running back Joe Mixon is closing in on 1,000 rush yards and has 12 touchdowns on the ground, too.
But if the 49ers have an edge, Cincinnati’s offensive line remains terrible, as Burrow has already taken 36 sacks, and he’s banged up with a finger injury suffered in Week 13, too.
Using the on-paper analysis, the Bengals are the better team by far. Yet this seems to be a game the Niners somehow figure how to pull off.