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Washington Vs. Bengals Preview: Offense Looks To Stay On Track

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Coming off a last-second loss to the Detroit Lions, the Washington Football Team (2-7) will return to FedExField to play the Cincinnati Bengals (2-6-1). Here's everything you need to know ahead of the Week 11 matchup.

GAMEDAY INFORMATION:

Date: Nov. 22

Time 1 p.m. ET

Location: FedExField (Landover, Maryland)

WATCH: CBS

  • Spero Dedes (play-by-play)
  • Adam Archuleta (analyst)

LISTEN: The Team 980, ESPN 630 and WMAL 105.9

  • Julie Donaldson (host)
  • Bram Weinstein (play-by-play)
  • DeAngelo Hall (analyst)

A stream of the radio broadcast will also be available at WashingtonFootball.com and on select Washington Football Team social media platforms.

ALL-TIME SERIES

  • Cincinnati leads the all-time series, 5-4-1
  • The two teams first met Oct. 6, 1974, when Washington beat the Bengals, 20-0.
  • Washington has not beaten the Bengals since 1991, when it secured a 34-27 victory. It has lost three times and tied the Bengals since then.
  • Washington and the Bengals most recently met Oct. 30, 2016 in London. The game ended in a 27-27 tie.

COACHING STAFF

Washington:

  • Head coach Ron Rivera (1st season in Washington)
  • Offensive coordinator Scott Turner (1st)
  • Defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio (1st)
  • Special teams coordinator Nate Kaczor (2nd)

Cincinnati:

  • Head coach Zac Taylor (2nd season in Cincinnati)
  • Offensive coordinator Brian Callahan (2nd)
  • Defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo (2nd)
  • Special teams coordinator Darrin Simmons (8th)

BIGGEST STORYLINES

-- Alex Smith trying to build on career game: Alex Smith was as good as he ever has been as a passer in his first start in nearly two seasons. The 36-year-old quarterback set career highs in completions (38), attempts (55) and yards (390) against the Detroit Lions and led Washington to a 21-point comeback in the second half. But after Smith spearheaded the game-tying drive in the final minute, the Lions responded with a 59-yard field goal to secure the 30-27 triumph.

Having completed more than 70% of his passes for 715 yards the past two games, Smith seems to be back to where he was before his gruesome leg injury. Head coach Ron Rivera said as much after the Lions' game.

"There are still some things that he has to continue to work at, and he knows that," Rivera said Monday. "He'll continue to work on them. This really was his first full week of work, but I think he's proved that he's back as a player. It's certainly something that we're going to discuss as we move forward."

Smith has another solid matchup Sunday against a Cincinnati defense that has allowed almost 400 total yards per game this season. Smith should also have plenty of time to throw against a unit that has only gotten to opposing quarterbacks 11 times in nine games.

-- Joe Burrow vs. Chase Young: The top two picks in the 2020 NFL Draft have certainly lived up to expectations.

Joe Burrow, the No. 1 selection out of LSU, has started every game for the Bengals and is on pace to break the rookie records for completions (379), passing attempts (627) and passing yards (4,374) -- the latter two of which Andrew Luck set with the Colts in 2012. And while Burrow has only won two of his first nine NFL games, he leads a young and talented offense that ranks 16th in passing at 265.1 yards per game. He has also completed about 65% of his passes for 12 touchdowns compared to five interceptions.

Chase Young has not been nearly as statistically productive -- he only has 3.5 sacks and one forced fumble -- but he has made his presence felt along a defensive line filled with first-round picks. He has been the highest-graded defensive rookie for most of the season, according to Pro Football Focus, and leads all rookies with 18 quarterback pressures. In ESPN's NFL Rookie Rankings released Wednesday, Young came in at No. 5.

Young should be extra motivated for Sunday's game after his roughing the passer penalty helped set up the Lions' game-winning field goal. Young owned his "rookie mistake" postgame before mentioning how the Cincinnati game was a "new week, new opportunity." He could be primed for a bounce-back game against the Bengals' offensive line, which ranks second-to-last in the league with 32 sacks allowed.

Sunday's game will also be another face-off between a No. 1 overall quarterback and a No. 2 pass rusher. Here's a look back at some of the previous matchups.

-- Washington looking for first win over Bengals since 1991: En route to its third championship, Washington picked up a close win over the Cincinnati Bengals on Sept. 22, 1991. It marked the fourth of 11 straight wins to begin a season that ended with a triumph over the Buffalo Bills in Super Bowl XXVI.

Since then, Washington has yet to beat the Bengals in four tries (three losses and a tie). The only opponent Washington has not beaten during this stretch is the Kansas City Chiefs.

All of those matchups were decided by one touchdown or less, and Sunday's contest should be a close one, too, considering both teams have similar records.

The Washington Football team held practice at the Inova Sports Performance Center in Ashburn, Virginia, on Nov. 18, 2020. (Photos courtesy of Elijah Walter Griffin Sr./Washington Football Team and Emilee Fails/Washington Football Team)

INDIVIDUAL STATS LEADERS

Washington:

  • Passing Yards -- QB Dwayne Haskins Jr. (939)
  • Passing TDs -- QBs Dwayne Haskins Jr. and Kyle Allen (4)
  • Rushing Yards -- RB Antonio Gibson (436)
  • Rushing TDs -- RB Antonio Gibson (7)
  • Receiving Yards -- WR Terry McLaurin (787)
  • Receiving TDs -- TE Logan Thomas and WR Terry McLaurin (3)
  • Tackles -- LB Jon Bostic (66)
  • Sacks -- DE Montez Sweat (5.0)
  • Interceptions -- CB Kendall Fuller (4)

Cincinnati:

  • Passing Yards -- QB Joe Burrow (2,485)
  • Passing TDs -- QB Joe Burrow (12)
  • Rushing Yards -- RB Joe Mixon (428)
  • Rushing TDs -- QB Joe Burrow and RB Joe Mixon (3)
  • Receiving Yards -- WR Tyler Boyd (625)
  • Receiving TDs -- WR Tee Higgins (4)
  • Tackles -- S Jessie Bates (64)
  • Sacks -- DE Carl Lawson (3.5)
  • Interceptions -- LB Logan Wilson and S Jessie Bates (2)

TEAM STATS LEADERS

Washington:

  • Total offense -- 28th (323.9 YPG)
  • Scoring offense -- 29th (20.0 PPG)
  • Passing offense -- 20th (232.0 YPG)
  • Sacks allowed -- T-28th (30)
  • Rushing offense -- 30th (91.9 YPG)
  • Third-down offense -- 25th (39.2%)
  • Total defense -- 7th (320.7 YPG)
  • Scoring defense -- 14th (24.2 PPG)
  • Passing defense -- 1st (194.7 YPG)
  • Sacks -- 5th (28)
  • Rushing defense -- 21st (126.0 YPG)
  • Third-down defense -- 16th (40.3%)
  • Time of possession -- 19th (29:34)
  • Turnover differential -- T-29th (-7)

Cincinnati:

  • Total offense -- 18th (357.7 YPG)
  • Scoring offense -- T-22nd (22.7 PPG)
  • Passing offense -- 16th (252.2 YPG)
  • Sacks allowed -- 31st (32)
  • Rushing offense -- T-21st (105.4 YPG)
  • Third-down offense -- 29th (38.1%)
  • Total defense -- 26th (398.2 YPG)
  • Scoring defense -- 24th (27.8 PPG)
  • Passing defense -- 26th (265.1 YPG)
  • Sacks -- T-27th (11)
  • Rushing defense -- 27th (133.1 YPG)
  • Third-down defense -- 24th (46.9%)
  • Time of possession -- 2nd (32:23)
  • Turnover differential -- T-22nd (-3)

INJURY REPORT

Check out the injury report for Washington's Week 11 game against the Cincinnati Bengals, HERE.

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