September 21, 2014

Who Dey Game Plan: Broncos

Andy Dalton is expected to start. Can he play well again?

Matchup Problem: Ryan Clady, Left Tackle

Once again, Cincinnati faces a team with a premier left tackle. Clady will protect Kyle Orton’s blind side and could make life difficult for Michael Johnson or the other Bengals defensive ends. If Cincinnati can pressure Orton, he could be headed for a second-straight lackluster performance. But Clady won’t make that easy. He’s a good test for an emerging Johnson.

Player to Watch: Andy Dalton

Dalton played very well in his first start against the Browns, minimizing mistakes and completing just enough passes to keep the defense somewhat honest. But I have a feeling that the Bengals might be pushing their luck a bit this week. Dalton is headed to another hostile environment and hasn’t had a full week of practice. It’s hardly an ideal situation, but Dalton has survived a lot already. We’ll see if he can keep it going this week.

How the Bengals could win: By once again controlling the line of scrimmage and keeping the Broncos from scoring a lot of points. Cincinnati is unlikely to win any games if they become shootouts this season, so a strong running game and a stingy defense figure to be the formula once again. It certainly doesn’t hurt that the Broncos are banged up and could be without several key players. I also think that Bernard Scott may get a few more opportunities this week to make a difference. He could be a wild card if the Bengals can get him the ball in space. Overall, I’d say that the Broncos – even with their warts – are a slight favorite (Vegas agrees), but Cincinnati certainly is capable of winning this one. Let’s hope there’s enough magic left to head home 2-0.