The Bengals are coming off one of the most impressive opening wins in their history, a 23-16 win in Baltimore that ended with Andy Dalton and A.J. Green connecting for a 77-yard touchdown and the defense sacking Flacco twice to end it.
A win over the Falcons at Paul Brown Stadium would stamp them as one of the NFL's top teams out of the gate. They haven't opened a season 2-0 since 2006. They're trying to reach the playoffs for the fourth year in a row, something they've never done.
The Falcons are trying to get as much as they can out of an offense that's their best hope for a quick turnaround. They went 4-12 last year — their first losing season since 2007 — despite their impressive array of receivers. The offensive line couldn't protect Matt Ryan, the running game finished last in the league, and receivers Julio Jones and Roddy White were hurt.
It came together nicely in the season opener, a 37-34 win over New Orleans in overtime at the Georgia Dome. No better way to get a team thinking the worst is behind it.
"It was a good start for us," Ryan said. "We played pretty good last week. I think we can play better, but it's just a start."