Bengals at Lions
► Kickoff: 1 p.m. Sunday, Ford Field, Detroit
► TV/radio: Fox/97.1
► Records: Bengals 3-2; Lions 0-5
► Line: Bengals by 3.5
James Hawkins of The Detroit News breaks down the Lions’ Week 6 matchup with the Cincinnati Bengals:
LIONS CORNERBACKS VS. BENGALS WR JA’MARR CHASE
Chase, the rookie receiver out of LSU, has wasted little time rekindling his chemistry with quarterback Joe Burrow and has been his former college teammate’s favorite target. He ranks in the top 10 in the NFL in both receiving yards (456; seventh) and touchdown receptions (five, tied for second).
He’s also emerging as one of the top deep threats in the league. He’s the first rookie with multiple touchdown receptions of 50-plus yards through the first five games since 1988 (Rams’ Aaron Cox) and his 19.8 yards per reception leads all wideouts with at least 20 catches.
Chase is coming off a six-catch, 159-yard outing against the Packers and is a solid bet to join the growing list of receivers to put up big numbers against the Lions this season, following the likes of San Francisco’s Deebo Samuel, Green Bay’s Davante Adams, Chicago’s Darnell Mooney and Minnesota’s Justin Jefferson.
“He’s an explosive player,” Lions coach Dan Campbell said this week. “It’s one thing to be as explosive as he is, but it’s also — Burrow, he knows when he’s got it and he’s looking at rotation and he’s reading safeties and he’s got a green light, and so if he feels it, he’s going to throw it and he’s making some dang good throws, too.”
Bengals to watch
► Joe Burrow, QB: The former top pick is expected to play after getting hit in the throat and taking a precautionary trip to the hospital after last week’s loss to the Packers. He’s prone to getting sacked (14 times so far this season) and turning the ball over (six interceptions the past four weeks), but he’s thrown at least two touchdown passes every game this season.
► Joe Mixon, RB: Mixon had a season-low 10 carries and 33 yards rushing last week as he was dealing with an ankle sprain. Despite the low output, he still ranks fifth in the league in rushing yards (386) and was averaging 4.25 yards per carry before the ailment. If he’s able to suit up, he could see more of a normal workload.
► Logan Wilson, LB: He’s been at the center of it all for Cincinnati’s defense. The second-year pro ranks ninth in the league with 47 tackles and his three interceptions are the most at his position. If the Lions want to win the turnover battle, they’ll need to keep tabs on his whereabouts at all times.
Facts and figures
► The good news is Jared Goff is 10-2 in his career against fellow quarterbacks who were drafted No. 1 overall, tied for the highest win percentage (.833) in such games since John Elway in 1991. The bad news is Goff has lost a career-high eight straight games in which he’s started, including playoffs.
► Dating back to Week 14 of last season, the Lions have allowed 100-plus receiving yards to an opposing player in nine consecutive games — Adams (twice), Jefferson (twice), Mooney, Samuel, Tennessee’s Corey Davis, Tampa Bay’s Mike Evans and Baltimore’s Mark Andrews. That streak is tied for the longest in NFL history.
► The Bengals have won the past six meetings between the teams and hold a 9-3 edge in the series, with the 75% win percentage the team’s best against an opponent. The Lions’ last win came in 1992, the season after Detroit’s last postseason victory.