Seattle Times staff reporter Bob Condotta takes a closer look at Sunday’s Seahawks opponent, the Cincinnati Bengals.
Game time: 10 a.m. Sunday.
TV: Ch. 13.
Coach: Marvin Lewis.
By the numbers
1:58 Total amount of time the Bengals have trailed this season out of 240 minutes played.
16.5 Cincinnati’s average points in the first half this season, fourth in the NFL.
48.76 The percentage of plays the Bengals have passed this season despite ranking third in the NFL in passing yards.
2015 record: 4-0, first in AFC North.
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The series: Tied 9-9, with the Bengals winning 34-12 during the most recent meeting in 2011 at CenturyLink Field. This will be just the second visit to Cincinnati since 1993. The Seahawks lost 27-24 there in 2003.
Early line: Bengals by 3.
QB Andy Dalton: The fifth-year quarterback is off to maybe the best start of his career, with a quarterback rating of 123.0. He has nine touchdown passes with one interception in 116 attempts. He’s averaging 10.2 yards per attempt, second-best in the NFL and far above his 7.16 career average. He was a second-round draft pick by the Bengals in 2011 out of TCU.
WR A.J. Green: The fourth overall pick in the 2011 draft out of Georgia, Green has teamed with Dalton to give the Bengals one of the better deep-threat offenses in the NFL. Green has 25 receptions this season for 417 yards, an average of 16.7. He has six catches for 20 or more yards and an 80-yarder that is tied for the longest pass play in the NFL this season.
DT Geno Atkins: A fourth-round pick out of Georgia in 2010, Atkins is powering a Bengals defense showing a much better pass rush this season. Atkins has three sacks for the season, including two Sunday against Kansas City’s Alex Smith. According to Pro Football Focus, he has the best pass-rushing productivity of any defensive tackle in the NFL through four games.
CB Adam Jones: Now 32, Pacman remains one of the better cover corners in the NFL, last year being named to the All-Pro first team for the first time in his career. He also returns punts and kickoffs for the Bengals and ranks 11th in the NFL in kickoff return average at 11.8.
Cincinnati’s keys to success: The Bengals have used a big-play offense led by Dalton and an improved defense to win their first four games, only the fourth 4-0 start in franchise history and first since 2005 (the Bengals won at least 11 games after the other three 4-0 starts). Dalton has been well-protected and sacked just twice this season, with tackle Andre Wentworth and guard Clint Boling considered among the best at their positions. The Bengals also are tied with the Seahawks for seventh in the NFL at 128 rushing yards per game. The Bengals last year had just 20 sacks on defense, fewest in the NFL, but already have 11 this season. The Bengals have led throughout every game, one reason opponents have thrown for 279 yards per game, making the Bengals 27th in pass defense. But opponents have scored touchdowns on just four of nine drives inside the 20-yard line, which ranks sixth in the NFL.