Posted on: November 27, 2022, 10:26h.
Last updated on: November 27, 2022, 10:26h.
It’s been five weeks since wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase last suited up for the Cincinnati Bengals, but he will not be in the lineup for Week 12’s matchup against the Tennessee Titans while he continues to recover from a hip injury.
Chase participated in practice this week, but was limited. He was listed as questionable heading into Week 12,but the Bengals decided to keep him out to provide him with one more additional week of rest.
The Titans are a slight +1 home dog against the visiting Bengals. Without Chase for the last three games, the Bengals are 2-1 straight up. The Bengals are 7-3 against the spread this season and tied for the thidr-best ATS record in the NFL.
Since Chase suffered a hip injury, wide receiver Tee Higgins emerged as the primary target for quarterback Joe Burrow. In the last three games, Higgins caught 19 passes for 257 yards and one touchdown. Tyler Boyd moved into the WR #2 spot, and Trenton Irwin bumped up to WR #3.
Surging Bengals Also Without Mixon
After starting the season 0-2, the Bengals went 6-2 to improve to 6-4. The won four out of their last five games. Their sole loss was upset by the Cleveland Browns during a Halloween installment of Monday Night Football.
The Bengals will not have starting running back Joe Mixon in the lineup either. Mixon is current in concussion protocol after getting dinged in the head in the during the Bengals’ Week 12 victory against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Mixon suffered a concussion in the first half of the Steelers game and never returned. Backup running back Samaje Perine will start in place of Mixon. Perine had a career-best three touchdown receptions last week filling in for Mixon.
Since the Chase injury, the Bengals pivoted to a run-heavy offense with gap-based runs over the last few weeks. The Bengals and their much-improved offensive line gashed the Carolina Panthers for 241 rushing yards.
Those guys are playing as good as anybody in the league right now,” said Burrow. “As much as we just straight drop back, it’s really been great to see the growth of those guys up front and the communication and the camaraderie and the chemistry. I’m excited about where they’re at.”
“I don’t know if we’re getting more movement or what, but as an offense in general, when you move to gap-scheme type of stuff, it’s worked for us,” said Perine. “More so because our offensive line loves downhill running.”
The Bengals, especially without Mixon, will be challenged this week against a stonewall Titans’ run defense. The Titans allow 82.2 yards per game on the ground for the second-best run defense in the NFL this season.
Betting the Bengals Down the Stretch
The Bengals face one of the toughest remaining schedules in the season half of the season. They have a huge game in Week 13 against the Kansas City Chiefs, and want to have a healthy Chase ready for that battle. It’s a rematch of last season’s AFC Championship game, which the Bengals won to secure a spot in Super Bowl LVI.
The Bengals host the Chiefs next Sunday, who are seeking revenge after last year’s playoff upset. In the look-ahead line, the Bengals are a +3 home dog against the Chiefs.
The Bengals also have to play road games against the Tampa Bay Bucs (Week 15) and New England Patriots (Week 16). They also have home games against the Cleveland Browns (Week 14), Buffalo Bills (Week 17), and Baltimore Ravens (Week 18).
The Bengals are +2500 odds to win Super Bowl LVII, according to DraftKings. The Bengals are +1100 odds to repeat as AFC champions, but they’re the fifth-highest team on DraftKings’ futures board.
The first-place Baltimore Ravens (7-3) are the favorites to win the AFC North at -650 odds, but the Bengals are their closest competition at +500 odds.