Green Bay Packers 2021 opponent preview: Cincinnati Bengals

Green Bay Packers, Aaron Rodgers (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
Green Bay Packers, Aaron Rodgers (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

The Green Bay Packers should’ve won their last road game against the Cincinnati Bengals. They gave up a 16-point lead late on. I’m still not over it.

The Packers did defeat the Bengals at Lambeau Field the last time these two teams met, but they required overtime to secure the victory.

In their first regular-season showdown in four years, here’s an early look ahead to this matchup.

Last season

It was a tough start to the NFL for first-overall pick Joe Burrow. He played in 11 games as a rookie, throwing for 2,688 yards, 13 touchdowns, and five interceptions, but the Bengals went 2-7-1 in those games. To make it worse, Burrow went down with a torn ACL which ended his season.

Cincinnati won only two more games, finishing the regular season with a 4-11-1 record and securing the fifth pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, which they used to pick Burrow’s college teammate, wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase.

When is the game?

The Packers will visit Paul Brown Stadium in Week 5. The game takes place on Sunday, Oct. 10 at 12 noon CT.

Offseason additions/departures

Cincinnati made some big signings in free agency, giving multi-year deals to defensive end Trey Hendrickson and cornerbacks Chidobe Awuzie and Mike Hilton. But they also lost some key players like Carl Lawson and William Jackson III at the same two positions.

There’s a lot to like about the Bengals’ draft class. They selected Chase fifth overall, who is reunited with former teammate Burrow. A receiving pair of Chase and Tee Higgins will be fun. They also strengthened the offensive line with the picks of tackles Jackson Carman and D’Ante Smith.

Last meeting with Packers

September 24, 2017: Packers won 27-24 after overtime at Lambeau Field

Player to watch

Joe Burrow: According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Burrow is expected to be ready for Week 1 as he returns from a torn ACL. With that in mind, there’s little doubt Burrow will be back in time for the Packers’ game in Week 5, but he’ll only have a handful of games under his belt since returning from a significant injury.

If Burrow can take a step in year two, he can help this Bengals team improve. He will be key to this game for Cincinnati. If the Packers keep Burrow quiet, they should win.