The Kansas City Chiefs (1-2) travel this week to take on the Cincinnati Bengals (3-0) for the 28th all-time meeting between these two teams.
The Bengals hold a 14-13 advantage in the all-time series and the Chiefs will look to even that up and get back on the winning track after dropping two straight games with losses to the Denver Broncos and Green Bay Packers.
It will be the third straight game the Chiefs have played against a team without a loss yet this season, and the Bengals will surely be another tough challenge this week.
The Bengals are one of the most talented and balanced teams in the NFL with plenty of playmakers on both sides of the ball.
"We look forward to the challenge of playing the Bengals," Chiefs coach Andy Reid said after the walkthrough on Wednesday. "We know they're a good football team. We know Cincinnati has been a tough place to play traditionally.
"Our guys are going to prepare themselves and get ready to play against a good football team."
Here's a quick look at the Bengals coaching staff:
Special Team's Coordinator
Here's a look at the Bengals offensive depth chart (unofficial):
Bengals Offensive Depth Chart (Unofficial)
Ryan Hewitt (HB)
C.J. Uzomah (TE)
Here's a look at the Bengals defensive depth chart (unofficial):
Bengals Defensive Depth Chart (Unofficial)
The Bengals rank seventh in the NFL in both scoring offense (28.3) and scoring defense (18.7) through their first three games of the 2015 season.
The Bengals started with a 33-13 opening win over the Oakland Raiders on the road followed by another win over an AFC West opponent in the Chargers at home, 24-19, and then a 28-24 win on the road over the Baltimore Ravens last week.
They're led offensively by quarterback Andy Dalton, who is completing 66 percent of his passes with 8 touchdowns and 1 interception so far this season.
QB Andy Dalton
Dalton's 9.4 yards per passing attempt also ranks second-best in the NFL, and it's the catalyst behind their 414 total yards per game average, which also ranks second-best in the NFL.
It's a big-play offense, particularly on first down, when the Bengals are averaging an astounding 7.25 yards per play, which leads the NFL.
The two-headed monster in the backfield for the Bengals consists of 6-foot-1, 235-pound Jeremy Hill, and 5-foot-9, 205-pound Giovani Bernard. They lead a rushing attack that's averaging 129 yards per game on the ground, which ranks eighth in the NFL.
Bernard has been particularly impressive this season, carrying the ball 41 times for 235 yards (5.7 ypc). He's averaging 3.24 yards after contact this season, which is second-best in the NFL and really impressive for a smaller-ish running back at just over 200 pounds.
On the outside, the Bengals have one of the most dynamic receivers in all of football in 6-foot-4, 207-pound A.J. Green, who was just named the AFC Offensive Player of the Week after his 10-catch, 227-yard, 2–touchdown performance against the Ravens last week.
"I think it's just up there," Green said via conference call of whether or not that was his best game as a professional to date. "Still a lot of stuff I could do to make a couple more plays, but it was pretty good.
"The biggest thing is we came out [against Baltimore] with a win and that's all that matters."
Green has a catch radius that really presents a problem for guys trying to match up against him on the outside.
WR A.J. Green
The good news for the Chiefs is that they will see the return of cornerback Sean Smith on Sunday as he returns from his three-game suspension.
"He's a big, long corner who is very athletic and can run," Green said of Smith. "He has long arms and he likes to press."
The timing couldn't be better as the Chiefs learned this week that fellow cornerback and second-year player Phillip Gaines, who was injured early in the loss to the Packers last Monday, was placed on injured reserve after suffering a torn ACL.
On Wednesday, Smith spoke about returning and squaring up against Green, who he faced three years ago when he was with the Miami Dolphins.
"He's a special talent," Smith said. "A rare talent. He's big, athletic and he can make any catch. If you put the ball around him, he catches it. It's definitely fun to go out there and compete with a guy like that.
"You have to go out there and bring your A-game every snap because [Andy] Dalton is going to throw it over there regardless of it there's one, two or three defenders over there. You have to stay on your toes."
Green has 18 receptions for 335 yards and 3 touchdowns this season.
Up front, the Bengals have done a great job protecting Dalton, surrendering just two sacks all season, which ties them for second-best in the NFL.
It's an offense littered with playmakers, including tight end Tyler Eifert, who is tied with Green for the team lead with 3 touchdown receptions.
The Chiefs will be challenged at all levels of the defense on Sunday.
The Bengals boast one of the best fronts in the NFL, led by playmaking defensive tackle Geno Atkins.
"They've got a nice blitz package," Reid noted on Wednesday. "It has traditionally been that way since Marvin [Lewis] has been there. They pick and choose. They play a lot of zone coverages and they mix in when they want to bring it.
LAST TIME THEY MET - PRESEASON 2014
Photos from preseason week 1 Chiefs vs the Cincinnati Bengals.
According to Pro Football Focus, three of the four top players on the Bengals defense are defensive linemen—Atkins, Carlos Dunlap and Wallace Gilberry.
Atkins and Dunlap have combined for 4.5 sacks this season.
As a defense, the Bengals are allowing just 18.7 points per game, which ranks seventh in the NFL.
"They're really good," quarterback Alex Smith said on Wednesday. "They've been playing really well this year. They're a veteran group, they know what they're doing and they play fast.
"I think they're good outside in the secondary as well."
The front seven have allowed just 76 yards rushing per game so far this season, which ranks fifth in the NFL.
Overall, this will simply be another tough test for a Chiefs team looking forward to the challenge and opportunity of playing against another good football team.