Kickoff: 1 p.m. Eastern.
Television: The game will air on FOX-TV. In the Bengals’ home region, it will be carried by WXIX-TV (Ch. 19) in Cincinnati, WGRT-TV (Ch. 45) in Dayton, WDKY-TV (Ch. 56) in Lexington, and WTTE-TV (Ch. 28) in Columbus.
Broadcasters are Thom Brennaman (play-by-play), Chris Spielman (analyst) and Shannon Spake (sideline reporter).
Radio: The game will air on the Bengals Radio Network, led by Cincinnati flagship stations WLW-AM (700), WCKY-AM (ESPN 1530; all sports) and WEBN-FM (102.7). Broadcasters are Dan Hoard (play-by-play) and Dave Lapham (analyst).
Setting the scene: The Bengals this week return home to face the Arizona Cardinals at Paul Brown Stadium. Both teams will be attempting to shake off disappointing Week 4 losses and find the win column for the first time this season.
The Bengals’ Week 4 defeat came at the hands of the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday Night Football. Cincinnati gained an early 3-0 advantage after one quarter, but failed to score again the rest of the night. And after starting slow, Pittsburgh scored 27 unanswered points in the final three quarters and cruised to a 27-3 victory.
That process starts on Sunday against Arizona, when both Bengals head coach Zac Taylor and Cardinals head coach Kilff Kingsbury will be seeking their first win as a head coach. But to find the win column on Sunday, Taylor’s Bengals will need to overcome injuries to several key players.
The statuses of WR A.J. Green (ankle) and OT Cordy Glenn (concussion), who have yet to play this season, remain uncertain. So does that of WR John Ross, who left Monday’s contest with a shoulder injury. And it’s also unclear whether DT Ryan Glasgow (thigh) and DE Carl Lawson (hamstring) can return after missing the last two games.
Arizona enters Sunday’s game 0-3-1, after falling 27-10 to Seattle last week. The series: Cincinnati leads 6-5 overall. The Bengals also lead 6-1 in games played in Cincinnati. The only game in series history won by the visitors was Arizona’s 35-27 win at Paul Brown Stadium in 2007.
The series: Cincinnati leads 6-5 overall. The Bengals also lead 6-1 in games played in Cincinnati. The only game in series history won by the visitors was Arizona’s 35-27 win at Paul Brown Stadium in 2007.
The Cardinals won the most recent meeting, 34-31 at University of Phoenix in 2015 on Sunday Night Football. The Bengals were 2-1 against the Cardinals when the franchise was based in St. Louis (prior to 1988), and the series is tied 4-4 since the Cardinals’ move to Arizona.
Bengals-Cardinals connections: Cardinals LB Jordan Hicks is from Cincinnati (Lakota West High School) ... Cardinals OL Justin Murray was with the Bengals in 2017. Murray is also from Cincinnati (Sycamore High School) and played at the University of Cincinnati ... Cardinals DL Clinton McDonald was originally a seventh-round pick of the Bengals in 2009, and was with Cincinnati through the ’11 preseason ... Cardinals DB Josh Shaw (Reserve/Injured) was originally a fourth-round pick of the Bengals in 2015, and was with Cincinnati through the ’18 preseason ... Cardinals defensive coordinator Vance Joseph was on the Bengals’ coaching staff from 2014-15. Joseph also coached at Bowling Green State University in 2004 ... Bengals QB Ryan Finley is from Phoenix, Ariz. (Paradise Valley High School) ... Bengals DT Renell Wren played at Arizona State University ... Cardinals DL Corey Peters is from Louisville, Ky., and played at the University of Kentucky ... Cardinals WR Johnnie Dixon (practice squad) played at Ohio State University ... Bengals defensive line coach Nick Eason played for the Cardinals from 2011-12 ... Bengals assistant strength and conditioning coach Garrett Swanson was college free agent signee of the Cardinals in 2016, and was with the team through preseason ... Cardinals linebackers coach Bill Davis played QB and WR at the University of Cincinnati from 1985-88. Davis also coached at Ohio State University from 2016-18 ... Cardinals assistant wide receivers coach Peter Badovinac coached at Ohio State University in 2018 ... Cardinals assistant special teams coach Randall McCray coached at the University of Toledo from 2003-06.
Bengals tough when Joe’s clicking: Bengals head coach Zac Taylor has alluded several times to his intent to lean more heavily upon HB Joe Mixon in 2019. History shows that probably is a good idea.
The Bengals are 6-1 since Mixon’s rookie season of 2017 when he gets at least 20 carries, with the lone outlier being a loss at the L.A. Chargers late last year after the Bengals had lost QB Andy Dalton and WR A.J. Green for the season due to injuries. The Bengals are also 6-4 in games where Mixon has reached 100 total yards, with two of the four losses coming late last year without Dalton and Green.
And when Mixon reaches 100 rushing yards, Cincinnati is 3-2, with both losses coming last year without Dalton and Green. Mixon has not yet reached any of those three marks so far this season. Mixon looks to build on strong 2018: Third-year HB Joe Mixon this season is looking to defend a strong 2018 campaign in which he became the only Bengals player ever to lead the AFC in rushing yards (1168) in a season (RB Paul Robinson led the AFL in rushing in 1968). Mixon, who also led the conference in rushing attempts (237), achieved the feat despite missing two games with a knee injury.
Mixon last season recorded the 22nd 1000-yard rushing season in Bengals history, and became just the 11th Bengal ever to hit that mark. He also scored a team-high nine TDs (eight rushing, one receiving), and had four games of 100 or more yards rushing and seven games of 100 or more yards from scrimmage. Mixon has started 2019 behind his pace from last season, in part due to an ankle injury suffered in the season opener at Seattle, and currently has 149 rushing yards on 47 carries.
Keep an eye on Andy: QB Andy Dalton owns a 68-54-2 record as a starter, good for the top winning percentage (.556) of any Bengals QB with 10 or more starts. And as the numbers have shown, the Bengals’ success is tied closely to that of their QB.
Dalton has thrown at least two TDs 62 times in his career, and the Bengals are 41-20-1 (.669) in those contests. In his 23 games with at least three TD passes, the Bengals are 22-1 (.957), with the only outlier coming in a 2012 loss at Cleveland. Conversely, the Bengals are just 6-16 (.273) when Dalton is held without a TD pass, and haven’t won such a game since 2014 at Cleveland.
A similar trend is true with passing yardage. In the 49 instances of Dalton topping 250 passing yards, the Bengals are 29-18-2 (.612). He’s topped 300 yards 26 times, with Cincinnati going 15-10-1 (.596) in those contests.
The Bengals have also proven tough to beat when Dalton is at his most accurate. When he completes at last 65 percent of his passes (minimum 20 attempts), the Bengals are 36-14-1 (.716), including wins in eight of their last 11 such games. And when that completion percentage jumps to at least 70, the Bengals are 21-5-1 (.796), with wins in 12 of their last 14 such games.
Bengals draft picks stick in NFL: A familiar trend has emerged this season regarding which teams have the most keen eye for talent in the draft, and the Bengals are again toward the top of the list. As of Tuesday (10/1), there were 50 players on NFL rosters who entered the NFL as draft picks of the Bengals, two shy of Baltimore for the most of any team in the NFL.
Cincinnati was among the top three teams all of last season as well, and even held a double-digit lead over the second place team early in the year before 13 qualifying players landed on Reserve/Injured. Only players on active 53-man rosters are counted in this data.
Of the 53 players on Cincinnati’s active roster on Tuesday (10/1), 41 entered the NFL with the Bengals — 34 as draft picks, and seven as college free agents. That total includes OT Andre Smith, a Bengals first-round pick in 2009 who later spent time with Minnesota and Arizona before rejoining Cincinnati. Of the Bengals’ 34 draft picks on their roster, seven were first-round picks (including Smith), seven were second-rounders, five were third-rounders, seven were fourth-rounders, three were fifth-rounders, three were sixth-rounders and two were seventh-rounders.