Rodgers, Packers rolling again, prepare for Bengals


By MITCH STACY - AP Sports Writer



Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers smiles as he leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021, in Green Bay, Wis. The Packers won 27-17. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)

Green Bay Packers' Aaron Rodgers smiles as he leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021, in Green Bay, Wis. The Packers won 27-17. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)


Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) looks to throw during the first half of an NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Thursday, Sept. 30, 2021, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)


Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur reacts to a call during the second half of an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Matt Ludtke)


By The Associated Press

GREEN BAY (3-1) at CINCINNATI (3-1)

Sunday, 1 p.m., EDT, Fox

OPENING LINE: Packers by 3, according to FanDuel SportsBook.

AGAINST THE SPREAD: Packers 3-1; Bengals 2-2.

SERIES RECORD: Bengals lead 7-6.

LAST MEETING: Packers beat Bengals 27-24 in OT, Sept. 24, 2017 in Green Bay.

LAST WEEK: Packers beat Steelers 27-17 ; Bengals beat Jaguars 24-21.

PACKERS OFFENSE: OVERALL (25), RUSH (24), PASS (24), SCORING (T-14)

BENGALS OFFENSE: OVERALL (22), RUSH (22), PASS (23), SCORING (20)

PACKERS DEFENSE: OVERALL (6), RUSH (12), PASS (8), SCORING (T-19)

BENGALS DEFENSE: OVERALL (7), RUSH (9), PASS (T-13), SCORING (8)

TURNOVER DIFFERENTIAL: Packers plus-2, Bengals minus-1.

PACKERS PLAYER TO WATCH: QB Aaron Rodgers. The reigning MVP threw two touchdowns and ran for another as Green Bay dominated the Steelers last Sunday for a third straight win. He was 20 of 36 for 248 yards. He’s completing 64.5% of his passes and has thrown for eight touchdowns.

BENGALS PLAYER TO WATCH: QB Joe Burrow. The top overall draft pick in 2020 hasn’t shown any indications he is playing on a surgically repaired left knee. He has completed 72.9% of his passes and thrown for nine touchdowns. Last week against the Jaguars he engineered scoring drives on all four of Cincinnati’s second-half possessions. The last one set up Evan McPherson for a winning field goal as time ran out.

KEY MATCHUP:

Bengals passing game vs. Packers secondary. Burrow has show adeptness at getting the ball out quickly, finding receivers all over the field and exploiting coverages. He has developed chemistry with receiver and former LSU teammate Ja’Marr Chase, and receiver Tee Higgins is expected to return from an injury. The Packers likely will be without cornerback Jaire Alexander, and linebacker Za’Darius Smith will miss a fourth straight game.

KEY INJURIES: Alexander is unlikely to play Sunday as the Packers continue consulting with specialists about his injured shoulder. Smith (back) is out with a back issue that leaves his status for the rest of the season in doubt. David Bakhtiari (knee), an All-Pro left tackle in 2020, hasn’t played yet this season. WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling (hamstring) will miss a second straight game. … Bengals RB Joe Mixon is day to day with an ankle sprain. G Xavier Su’a-Filo is still sidelined with a knee injury. S Jessie Bates (neck), CB Chidobe Awuzie (groin), Higgins (shoulder) and DT Larry Ogunjobi (knee) are practicing this week but their availability is uncertain.

SERIES NOTES: After dropping three straight in the series dating back to 1992, the Bengals have won three of the last four. In the last meeting in 2017, Rodgers’ fourth-quarter touchdown pass to Jordy Nelson tied the game for Green Bay, and a 27-yard field goal by Mason Crosby won it in overtime.

STATS AND STUFF: Packers coach Matt LaFleur and Bengals coach Zac Taylor worked together on the Los Angeles Rams’ staff in 2017. … This is the first time the Packers have played in Cincinnati since 2013. They haven’t won in Cincinnati since 1998 (that stretch includes road losses to the Bengals in 2005 and 2013). … LaFleur is in his third season as Packers coach. In his first two seasons, he led the team to 26 regular-season wins, the second most in NFL history by a coach in his first two years. … The Packers are 22-0 under LaFleur when they have fewer turnovers than their opponent. They’re 4-1 when the turnover margin is even and 3-6 when they have more turnovers than their opponent. … The Packers have won three straight since opening the season with an embarrassing 38-3 loss to the New Orleans Saints in Jacksonville, Florida. … Rodgers has thrown eight touchdown passes with no interceptions during this three-game win streak. … Rodgers has 420 career touchdown passes, one shy of Philip Rivers for fifth place on the NFL’s all-time list. … This trip to Cincinnati starts a stretch in which the Packers go on the road for four of five games. … Packers WR Davante Adams has an NFL-leading 31 receptions. … Packers WR Randall Cobb is coming off a two-touchdown game against Pittsburgh. That marked Cobb’s first game with multiple touchdown receptions since 2015. … On Sept. 20, 2009 at Lambeau Field, Cincinnati DE Antwan Odom sacked Rodgers five times, tying the Bengals record. … Bengals RB Joe Mixon had 18 carries for 62 yards and three receptions for 39 yards in the last meeting with Green Bay in 2017. … Taylor is one win away from matching his win total last season. In his first season in 2019, Cincinnati was 2-14.

FANTASY TIP: Bengals TE C.J. Uzomah is increasingly becoming a favorite target for Burrow. He caught five passes for 95 yards and two touchdowns last week.

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CINCINNATI (AP) — Bengals coach Zac Taylor has seen a lot of Aaron Rodgers.

In Taylor’s estimation, he’s watched more videotape on Rodgers than any other NFL quarterback. And that includes Taylor’s current quarterback, Joe Burrow.

One of Taylor’s first assignments when he was hired as an NFL assistant with the Dolphins in 2012 was cataloging videotape of Rodgers, who was the reigning NFL MVP.

“That was my first week in the NFL, watching every snap Green Bay took in their NFC championship run in 2011,” the third-year Cincinnati coach said this week. “I was like, man, is every quarterback in the league like this? And then you come to find out over the course of 10 years that he’s special.”

Taylor will have a sideline seat Sunday when the Packers (3-1) visit the improved Bengals (3-1).

Rodgers at 37 is still bringing it. Last week in Green Bay’s win over the Steelers, he was 20 for 36 for 248 yards and two touchdowns. He’s thrown for 897 yards as Green Bay has reeled off three straight wins after losing to New Orleans in Week 1.

“It starts with their tremendous quarterback, and they’ve got great tools and weapons all around him, and (Packers coach Matt) LaFleur does a great job of putting them in a good position,” Taylor said.

The Bengals have a pretty decent quarterback of their own.

Four days after Cincinnati took down the Steelers in Pittsburgh, the Bengals fell behind the Jacksonville Jaguars 14-0 at halftime of Thursday night’s game. The unflappable Burrow led scores on all four second-half drives, the final one setting up Evan McPherson for a game-winning 35-yard field goal as time ran out.

Rodgers has noticed what’s happening in Cincinnati.

“They went out and they spent some money, they brought in some free agents, guys that we know,” Rodgers said. “They’re a talented team. I think the difference is they’re 3-1, so they’re obviously playing with a lot more confidence and believing that they can and should be winning games. Having a first-pick quarterback and some stud guys on that side of the ball, they’ve been scoring some points.”

MOVING UP THE CHARTS

Rodgers threw his 420th career touchdown pass in the win last week to tie Dan Marino for sixth all time.

Rodgers has a chance to move into the top five Sunday. He’s one behind Philip Rivers, who threw 421 touchdown passes before retiring at the end of last season.

FINDING MORE TARGETS

Green Bay’s Davante Adams leads the NFL with 31 receptions and has more than twice as many catches as any of his teammates. Running back Aaron Jones is second on the team with 13. Randall Cobb ranks second among wideouts with nine.

But the Packers did show they’re capable of spreading the ball around when the Steelers limited Adams to six catches for 64 yards and no touchdowns. Cobb had two touchdown catches in the game, marking his first game with multiple touchdown catches since 2015.

MIXON’S STATUS

Bengals running back Joe Mixon is still day to day after spraining his ankle in last week’s game. But safety Jessie Bates (neck) is expected to be back for Sunday. Cornerback Chidobe Awuzie (groin), receiver Tee Higgins (shoulder) and defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi (knee) also are back at practice and could play Sunday.

PACKERS INJURIES

Green Bay likely will be playing this game without its two top defensive players and could be missing its two best offensive linemen as well.

Cornerback Jaire Alexander is unlikely to play Sunday as the Packers continue consulting with specialists about his injured shoulder. Outside linebacker Za’Darius Smith will miss a fourth straight game with a back issue.

David Bakhtiari, an All-Pro left tackle in 2020, hasn’t played yet this season and will miss at least the first six games as he recovers from a torn anterior cruciate ligament. Elgton Jenkins, a Pro Bowl left guard last season who had been filling in at left tackle, has missed the Packers’ past two games with an ankle injury.

The Packers also will be missing wide receiver Marquez Valdes-Scantling for a second straight game because of a hamstring injury.

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AP Sports Writer Steve Megargee contributed.

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Follow Mitch Stacy at http://twitter.com/mitchstacy

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More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Rodgers smiles as he leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021, in Green Bay, Wis. The Packers won 27-17. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2021/10/web1_127370255-b2f7dcc671554c51bbf7dafa2c368683-1.jpgGreen Bay Packers’ Aaron Rodgers smiles as he leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021, in Green Bay, Wis. The Packers won 27-17. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer)

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) looks to throw during the first half of an NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Thursday, Sept. 30, 2021, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2021/10/web1_127370255-f4a980952fd541bcb8776fcb3fddfa7f-1.jpgCincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) looks to throw during the first half of an NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Thursday, Sept. 30, 2021, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur reacts to a call during the second half of an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Matt Ludtke)
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2021/10/web1_127370255-a59a310a71eb4d5184410477e3902928-1.jpgGreen Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur reacts to a call during the second half of an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Matt Ludtke)

By MITCH STACY

AP Sports Writer

By The Associated Press

GREEN BAY (3-1) at CINCINNATI (3-1)

Sunday, 1 p.m., EDT, Fox

OPENING LINE: Packers by 3, according to FanDuel SportsBook.

AGAINST THE SPREAD: Packers 3-1; Bengals 2-2.

SERIES RECORD: Bengals lead 7-6.

LAST MEETING: Packers beat Bengals 27-24 in OT, Sept. 24, 2017 in Green Bay.

LAST WEEK: Packers beat Steelers 27-17 ; Bengals beat Jaguars 24-21.

PACKERS OFFENSE: OVERALL (25), RUSH (24), PASS (24), SCORING (T-14)

BENGALS OFFENSE: OVERALL (22), RUSH (22), PASS (23), SCORING (20)

PACKERS DEFENSE: OVERALL (6), RUSH (12), PASS (8), SCORING (T-19)

BENGALS DEFENSE: OVERALL (7), RUSH (9), PASS (T-13), SCORING (8)

TURNOVER DIFFERENTIAL: Packers plus-2, Bengals minus-1.

PACKERS PLAYER TO WATCH: QB Aaron Rodgers. The reigning MVP threw two touchdowns and ran for another as Green Bay dominated the Steelers last Sunday for a third straight win. He was 20 of 36 for 248 yards. He’s completing 64.5% of his passes and has thrown for eight touchdowns.

BENGALS PLAYER TO WATCH: QB Joe Burrow. The top overall draft pick in 2020 hasn’t shown any indications he is playing on a surgically repaired left knee. He has completed 72.9% of his passes and thrown for nine touchdowns. Last week against the Jaguars he engineered scoring drives on all four of Cincinnati’s second-half possessions. The last one set up Evan McPherson for a winning field goal as time ran out.

KEY MATCHUP:

Bengals passing game vs. Packers secondary. Burrow has show adeptness at getting the ball out quickly, finding receivers all over the field and exploiting coverages. He has developed chemistry with receiver and former LSU teammate Ja’Marr Chase, and receiver Tee Higgins is expected to return from an injury. The Packers likely will be without cornerback Jaire Alexander, and linebacker Za’Darius Smith will miss a fourth straight game.

KEY INJURIES: Alexander is unlikely to play Sunday as the Packers continue consulting with specialists about his injured shoulder. Smith (back) is out with a back issue that leaves his status for the rest of the season in doubt. David Bakhtiari (knee), an All-Pro left tackle in 2020, hasn’t played yet this season. WR Marquez Valdes-Scantling (hamstring) will miss a second straight game. … Bengals RB Joe Mixon is day to day with an ankle sprain. G Xavier Su’a-Filo is still sidelined with a knee injury. S Jessie Bates (neck), CB Chidobe Awuzie (groin), Higgins (shoulder) and DT Larry Ogunjobi (knee) are practicing this week but their availability is uncertain.

SERIES NOTES: After dropping three straight in the series dating back to 1992, the Bengals have won three of the last four. In the last meeting in 2017, Rodgers’ fourth-quarter touchdown pass to Jordy Nelson tied the game for Green Bay, and a 27-yard field goal by Mason Crosby won it in overtime.

STATS AND STUFF: Packers coach Matt LaFleur and Bengals coach Zac Taylor worked together on the Los Angeles Rams’ staff in 2017. … This is the first time the Packers have played in Cincinnati since 2013. They haven’t won in Cincinnati since 1998 (that stretch includes road losses to the Bengals in 2005 and 2013). … LaFleur is in his third season as Packers coach. In his first two seasons, he led the team to 26 regular-season wins, the second most in NFL history by a coach in his first two years. … The Packers are 22-0 under LaFleur when they have fewer turnovers than their opponent. They’re 4-1 when the turnover margin is even and 3-6 when they have more turnovers than their opponent. … The Packers have won three straight since opening the season with an embarrassing 38-3 loss to the New Orleans Saints in Jacksonville, Florida. … Rodgers has thrown eight touchdown passes with no interceptions during this three-game win streak. … Rodgers has 420 career touchdown passes, one shy of Philip Rivers for fifth place on the NFL’s all-time list. … This trip to Cincinnati starts a stretch in which the Packers go on the road for four of five games. … Packers WR Davante Adams has an NFL-leading 31 receptions. … Packers WR Randall Cobb is coming off a two-touchdown game against Pittsburgh. That marked Cobb’s first game with multiple touchdown receptions since 2015. … On Sept. 20, 2009 at Lambeau Field, Cincinnati DE Antwan Odom sacked Rodgers five times, tying the Bengals record. … Bengals RB Joe Mixon had 18 carries for 62 yards and three receptions for 39 yards in the last meeting with Green Bay in 2017. … Taylor is one win away from matching his win total last season. In his first season in 2019, Cincinnati was 2-14.

FANTASY TIP: Bengals TE C.J. Uzomah is increasingly becoming a favorite target for Burrow. He caught five passes for 95 yards and two touchdowns last week.

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