Here’s what we’re talking about heading into Sunday’s game against the Broncos:
-Who’s starting at quarterback? If it were me, I’d give Gradkowski the start. A rookie quarterback who has missed some practice time and it isn’t quite 100-percent doesn’t seem like a good option. Plus, Gradkowski should be somewhat familiar with the Broncos having played in Oakland.
-Who’s playing for Denver? Many of their best players missed practice Wednesday. If Champ Bailey, Elvis Dumervil, Brandon Lloyd, or Knowshon Moreno miss Sunday’s game, it will give the Bengals a boost.
-Can the running game duplicate the Raiders’ success? Darren McFadden ran for about 150 yards against Denver. It would be nice to see the Bengals put up a number like that as well.
-Will A.J. Green be a factor? Green wasn’t really a factor in Cleveland until the Browns got caught napping and the rookie raced into the endzone. It’d be nice to see him be more of a factor in Week 2.
-Can the defense stay hot? All in all, the Bengals D played rather well in Cleveland. Can Carlos Dunlap and company continue their upward trend? Kelly Jennings is also healthy and will play as the nickel corner, giving the Bengals a very solid trio of defensive backs.
-Will Bernard Scott be more involved? Scott only got one true series in Cleveland and was used like Ced Benson, which doesn’t suit his style. Will the Bengals find more ways to get him in open spaces in Denver?
-How will Brandon Tate do on returns? Tate was a bit overaggressive in Cleveland, will he tone it back in Denver?
-Will Mike Nugent hit a long field goal? The thin air in Denver is ideal for field goal kickers and Nugent has a fairly big leg to begin with. If there’s a chance to flirt with 60-yards, this may be it.