A battle of 3-1 teams are set to square off Sunday when the NFC North-leading Packers travel to Cincinnati to face the AFC North-leading Bengals.
The Bengals’ three wins this season have come against clubs with a combined 2-10 record entering Week 5 (Vikings 1-3; Steelers 1-3; Jaguars 0-4). Beating Aaron Rodgers and the Packers would be a statement win for Cincinnati.
Bengals tight end C.J. Uzomah joined NFL Network’s Good Morning Football on Friday and was asked what message a victory might send.
“It’s the message that we’re here,” Uzomah replied. “This is another huge opportunity for us. Personally, I admire Aaron Rodgers and what he’s done to the league and for the league and for his team. He’s an unbelievable competitor, an unbelievable quarterback. You’re right. They’re coming to the jungle. They’re coming to our house, and we expect a big crowd to kind of rattle him a little bit as much as we can rattle him. Everything helps in our favor playing at home.
“We get this win, and we put the league on notice that we’re here. This isn’t a 3-1 that just happens to be 3-1. At this point, it’s a 4-1 that just beat the Packers, who are on a hot streak, who are on a run and have one of the hottest quarterbacks to play the game. That’s what we’re after, that’s our goal, and that’s our mentality.”
In order to win, the Bengals must keep pace with Rodgers and the Packers offense.
Quarterback Joe Burrow has played well in his return from an ACL tear that cut his rookie season short. Burrow became just the fourth second-year QB in the Super Bowl era to throw for 2-plus touchdowns in his team’s first four games — only Dan Marino had 2+ pass TDs in the fifth game as well.
“He’s an animal. He’s an absolute beast back there,” Uzomah said of Burrow. “He’s a stone-cold killer. His facial expressions, they don’t change throughout the game. That’s something you kind of want. When he shows emotion, you know we’ve got to get it together. But he’s an amazing person. I got to rehab with him, which was awesome. I got to see him through the ups and downs of his injury, which is a tough injury to come back from. He’s proving why he was the No. 1 draft choice for us. That locker room presence he has, he’s just … he’s the boy. He’s Joey Franchise for a reason. We call him Franchise because he’s the franchise, because he’s the face of the franchise, and he will be for a long time.”
The last time the Bengals started 3-1 was in 2018. They won their fourth game (home against Miami) to move to 4-1 before the bottom fell out in Marvin Lewis’ final season in Cincinnati, finishing 6-10.
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