Bengals, Lions aim to bounce back after losing on late kicks
DETROIT (AP) — The Detroit Lions and Cincinnati Bengals have been on the wrong side of NFL history so far this season.
The Lions became the first team to lose two games in the same season on game-winning kicks of 50-plus yards with no time left, and they did it in a three-week span.
The Bengals (3-2) were part of the first game marred by three potential winning field goals that were missed in the fourth quarter or overtime.
On Sunday at Ford Field, both teams get a chance to bounce back from a deflating defeat.
Detroit (0-5) may not be favored to win any of its remaining games, leaving open the possibility that the franchise has the first 0-17 season, 13 years after enduring the NFL’s first 0-16 season.
After watching the Lions on film, Bengals receiver Tee Higgins insisted he sees a really good team.
“This is not going to be a cakewalk,” Higgins said. “The record says 0-5. They obviously lost by game-winning field goals and things like that.”
Detroit dropped its latest game when Minnesota’s Greg Joseph made a 54-yard field goal with no time remaining. In Week 3, Baltimore’s Justin Tucker connected on a league-record, 66-yard field goal as time expired.
Even though coach Dan Campbell is in his first year leading the franchise, he knows a lot of its fans have been suffering through a lot setbacks for several decades.
“Nothing I’m going to tell them is going to make them feel any better,” Campbell said. “All I can do is try to prove it.”
Cincinnati’s rookie kicker, Evan McPherson, is eager to prove he can do the job after missing field goals late in regulation and in overtime against the Packers.
BANGED UP BURROW
Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow is expected to play after having a precautionary trip to the hospital after last week’s loss to the Packers. The second-year quarterback got hit in the throat at some point and it affected his ability to talk. Burrow, who is playing on a surgically repaired left knee, has been sacked an average of three times per game in his career.
Lions quarterback Jared Goff is averaging just 6.6 yards passing per attempt, his lowest since he was a rookie with the Los Angeles Rams in 2016, to rank No. 25 in the NFL.
Goff’s shaky accuracy, getting sacked nearly three times a game and a lackluster group of wide receivers have contributed to the problem.
Bengals running back Joe Mixon had just 10 carries for 33 yards last week as continued to recover from an ankle sprain, and is expected to be busier at Detroit.
Mixon missed most of last season with a foot injury.
CINCINNATI (3-2) at DETROIT (0-5), Sunday, noon, Fox
SERIES RECORD: Bengals lead 9-3.
LAST MEETING: Bengals beat Lions 26-17 on Dec. 24, 2017, in Cincinnati.
LAST WEEK: Bengals lost to Packers 25-22 in OT; Lions lost to Vikings 19-17.
BENGALS OFFENSE: OVERALL (25), RUSH (22), PASS (24), SCORING (18).
BENGALS DEFENSE: OVERALL (11), RUSH (10), PASS (16), SCORING (7).
LIONS OFFENSE: OVERALL (24), RUSH (20), PASS (23), SCORING (25).
LIONS DEFENSE: OVERALL (22), RUSH (23), PASS (17), SCORING (25).
TURNOVER DIFFERENTIAL: Cincinnati minus-2; Detroit minus-1.
BENGALS PLAYER TO WATCH: QB Joe Burrow has been sacked 14 times this season and an average of three times per game over his 15-game career.
LIONS PLAYER TO WATCH: LB Charles Harris said he’s playing his best football, and can validate the assertion with a career-high four sacks. Miami drafted him out of Missouri with the No. 22 pick overall in 2017 and he had three sacks in three seasons with the Dolphins. Harris had three sacks in 13 games, including one start, last year in Atlanta.
KEY MATCHUP: Detroit’s running game against Cincinnati’s defense.