The San Francisco 49ers and the Cincinnati Bengals both find themselves in similar spots heading into Week 3. Both are 1-1 after suffering tight losses in Week 2 against hamstrung opponents, and both must now try to rebound if they have any hope of making the playoffs this season.
The 49ers lost to the Dallas Cowboys in overtime despite Tony Romo playing with cracked ribs. Romo still out-dueled Alex Smith badly throwing for 345 yards and two touchdowns to 179 yards two touchdowns and an interception. That's without Romo playing most of the third quarter. Nevermind that the offense managed just 206 total yards, the 49ers need to shore up a defense that was supposed to be a strength but got absolutely torched through the air (not counting whatever it was Jon Kitna was doing out there).
The Bengals faced a Denver Broncos squad among the most beat-up in the league. Despite the absence of Knowshon Moreno, Elvis Dumervil, Champ Bailey, Brandon Lloyd and D.J. Williams, the Bengals couldn't get a young offense going nor stop the likes of Willis McGahee and Eric Decker from having big days. Rookie quarterback Andy Dalton and receiver A.J. Green had nice outings, but the offense stalled in crunch time and the Bengals walked away with a loss.
It's hard to say who should be favored in this match. The 49ers may get the edge simply by losing to a higher quality opponent, but both must answer some serious questions on both sides of the ball. A win for either would go a long way towards exorcising their Week 2 demons.
Game Date/Time: Sunday, September 25; 1:00pm ET
Location: Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, OH
TV Distribution Map: The506.com
Bengals: ESPN 1530, 102.7 FM WEBN