The Packers have been one of the best teams in football throughout the last few years, while the Bengals have been one of the worst. Those squads, though, took part in a back-and-forth affair on Sunday as the game eventually went into overtime before Green Bay later won 25-22.
As he does most days, Packers wide receiver Davante Adams had a massive game in Week 5, but he also made a bold claim after the contest. In fact, if true, his statements could become the AFC North’s worst nightmare.
Davante Adams and the Packers beat the Cincinnati Bengals
The Green Bay Packers went 13-3 in each of the last two seasons and reached the NFC Championship Game both years. The Cincinnati Bengals, on the other hand, won four games or fewer each of the last two campaigns and haven’t been to the playoffs since 2015. So, heading into Green Bay and Cincinnati’s Week 5 matchup, many fans expected to see a blowout in favor of the Packers.
But that wasn’t what happened.
Cincinnati kept Aaron Rodgers and company in check during the first quarter as Joe Burrow’s squad led 7-0 at the end of it. Green Bay, though, stormed back and took a 16-7 lead in the second before leading 16-14 at halftime.
The Packers eventually led 22-14 in the fourth before the Bengals tied it on a Joe Mixon touchdown run and a two-point conversion with 3:27 on the clock. But both teams squandered opportunities to take the lead with less than three minutes left in the contest as two Mason Crosby missed field goals for Green Bay and one missed attempt by Evan McPherson for Cincy led to the game going into OT.
In overtime, Crosby and McPherson both missed a field goal apiece, but the former eventually made a 49-yarder with two minutes left to help the Packers win 25-22. They moved to 4-1 with the win while Cincinnati fell to 3-2.
The biggest performers in the game were easily Davante Adams for the Packers and Bengals wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase. Adams caught 11 passes for 206 yards and a touchdown, while Chase had six catches for 159 yards and a TD.
Although his team got the win, Adams later had some high praise for the Bengals after the game.
Davante Adams had high praise for the Bengals
After a long game that had its ups and downs for both teams, the Packers had plenty to celebrate. Adams then received a question about their celebration in his postgame press conference.
“It’s tough to win games in this league, and the Bengals are a good team,” the Packers wide receiver said, per the team’s YouTube. “It’s not the old Bengals that everybody just kind of expects to roll over. Really good offense and they got some guys on defense as well that can get out there and make some plays.”
Heading into Week 5, not many people knew whether the Bengals were actually as good as their 3-1 record said, but their performance against the Packers proved they might be the real deal.
And that could be a problem for the AFC North.
A talented Cincinnati Bengals team is the AFC North’s worst nightmare
The AFC North had three playoff teams in 2020 in the Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, and Baltimore Ravens. But the Bengals could now make things difficult on all of them.
Not only can Cincinnati stay competitive in games against their divisional foes, but they can also potentially spoil playoff chances by winning a couple of games against their rivals.
They already beat the Steelers this year, too.
While their success could impact the playoff standings this year and could even help them reach the postseason themselves, the Bengals’ potential is what should have all three of those AFC North teams worried. With their dynamic offense and talented players on defense, the Browns and Ravens have the brightest futures in the division, but the Bengals have almost as much young talent at the skill positions. Cincy is just a few players away from being an excellent team, which could result in a tough fight for the division title every year.
All in all, the Bengals have pieces on offense and defense who can make them a force to be reckoned with for years to come. Teams won’t want to face the likes of Burrow, Chase, Mixon, and Tee Higgins on offense, and Trey Hendrickson, Jessie Bates III, and Logan Wilson on defense.
If Cincy continues its upward trajectory, the AFC North will be the biggest loser because of it, and the division title race will be a brutal uphill battle every season.
Stats courtesy of Pro Football Reference