7 things to know heading into Bears vs. Bengals in Week 2

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The Chicago Bears will host the Cincinnati Bengals in their home opener, where Chicago will be looking for their first win of the season in Week 2.

The Bears and Bengals haven’t faced each other that often, playing just 11 times dating back to 1972. But this 12th matchup will go a long way in showing exactly what these two teams are made of following some surprising Week 1 outcomes.

Here are seven things to know ahead of the Bears’ Week 2 game against the Bengals:

Andy Dalton will face his former team for the 2nd time

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This game was circled on the calendar as Chicago's potential first win but also because of Andy Dalton, who it appears will get a shot to play against his former team, the Bengals. It's being hailed as the Andy Dalton game, which is funny considering Dalton already got revenge on his former team just last year. Dalton actually faced his former team for the first time last season with the Cowboys, where Dallas delivered a 30-7 beatdown of Cincy. Dalton completed 16-of-23 passes for 185 yards and two touchdowns for a 122.6 passer rating. But this is a different defense than the Cowboys faced last season, and we'll see if Dalton can make it two straight against the Bengals. If Dalton struggles, we could see rookie Justin Fields much sooner than Matt Nagy intended.

This matchup will feature the top-two rushers in Joe Mixon and David Montgomery

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When the Bears and Bengals meet on Sunday, the NFL's top-two leading rushers will be leading their offenses. Chicago's David Montgomery is coming off an impressive opener, where he had 16 carries for 108 yards (6.8 average) and one touchdown, picking up right where he left off last season. It was his third 100-yard rushing game in the last five regular-season contests dating back to 2020. Montgomery has the second-most rushing yards in the league only behind Cincinnati's Joe Mixon, who totaled 127 yards on 29 carries (4.4 average) and one touchdown. Both Montgomery and Mixon figure to serve big roles in their respective offensive game plans on Sunday. We'll see if Montgomery can edge out Mixon for the top spot.

Bengals lead the series 6-5

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When looking at this series' history, the Bengals lead the series 6-5. But it's difficult to make anything of this trend given these two teams haven't played in four years and a lot has changed since then. Still, the Bears have won the last two meetings in this series -- 33-7 in 2017 and 24-21 in 2013.

Bears are 2-1 in home openers under Matt Nagy

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After dropping their season opener to the Rams, the Bears return to Soldier Field for their home opener in Week 2, where they'll face a Bengals team that impressed with an upset win over the Vikings in overtime. When looking at the Bears' track record of home openers under Matt Nagy, Chicago has gone 2-1 over the last three seasons -- defeating the New York Giants in 2020 and Seattle Seahawks in 2018. They lost their Week 1 opener against the Green Bay Packers in 2019. Interestingly, both of those home-opening wins occurred in Week 2, while their loss happened in Week 1. We'll see if the Bears can maintain their winning record in home openers on Sunday against a talented Bengals team.

Eddie Jackson had two takeaways in last meeting

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

If there's someone who needs a strong rebound game in Week 2, it's Bears safety Eddie Jackson, who had missed tackles and blown coverages in a blowout loss to the Rams. Luckily for Jackson, he's facing an opponent this week that he had success against in their previous meeting. In Chicago's last meeting with Cincinnati, a then-rookie Jackson was a takeaway machine, notching an interception and recovering a fumble in a 33-7 blowout win. While this Bengals offense is much different than that group he faced in 2017, this would be a good chance for Jackson to make a statement -- be it taking the ball away or simply doing his job and making some crucial tackles.

Bears racked up 200-plus rushing yards in last meeting

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

This current Bears offense is predicated toward running the football with David Montgomery and utilizing the quick, short passing game. At least, that was the game plan for Week 1. But with Chicago's success on the ground with Montgomery, a balanced approach figures to be a recurring theme on offense. The last time the Bears played the Bengals, they simply dominated in the ground game, racking up 232 rushing yards on 38 carries (10.8 average) and three touchdowns. While we probably shouldn't expect near that success, there are opportunities to be had against this Bengals run defense. And you can expect the Bears to keep feeding Montgomery, who was the lone bright spot on offense in their Week 1 loss.

Cincy will be without its top cornerback Trae Waynes

USA Today Sports

Much like the Bears, the Bengals have some depth concerns at the cornerback position. And it doesn't help that Cincy will be without its top corner in Trae Waynes, who is still sidelined with a hamstring injury. Instead, the Bears will face the cornerback duo of Chidobe Awuzie and Eli Apple. While Apple wasn't terrible in Week 1, he did have a brutal penalty and allowed a touchdown in their win over the Vikings. Assuming the Bears actually open up their downfield passing attack, look for them to target Apple with Waynes on the sideline. [listicle id=480751] [listicle id=480671] [listicle id=480616]

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