July 21, 2017

Tailgate Talk: Bills/Bengals


Here’s what we’ll be talking about heading into Sunday’s game with the 3-0 Buffalo Bills…

-How will the offense respond after last week’s struggles? The Bengals were horrid on third down and in the red zone against the 49ers. Can they rebound against the Bills? Buffalo’s rather porous defense should help them in that regard. I see a better performance this week.

-How many people will be in the stands? The estimate of about 44,000 for last week’s home opener was one of the lowest numbers ever for Paul Brown Stadium. Will things get worse this week? And how low can it go?

-Will we see any more Bernard Scott? Marvin Lewis took the blame for not using Scott more last week, but then Scott only got a few carries on Sunday. Will the coaches find some creative ways – if any – to get him on the field?

-Can the Bengals No. 3 ranked defense keep it up? Cincinnati has had the benefit of playing a trio of teams who are not exactly offensive juggernauts. The Bills, who have already scored double digit touchdowns in three games, will be a much better test. Can the Bengals put the brakes on their high-octane offense?

-Will Andy Dalton be better this week? Roadhouse Red tossed his first two interceptions last week and generally struggled. That’s expected of a rookie quarterback. But will he respond this week? His performance on Sunday could clue us in on his psyche. The coaches have publicly championed his unflappable demeanor. Hopefully, he shows that this week.

-Finally, will the Bengals surprise everyone? There’s a growing sentiment that the Bengals have a shot on Sunday. Even the oddsmakers seem to think so, installing them as only three-point underdogs. Will Cincinnati, who seems to relish the underdog role, catch the Bills by surprise?

Stay tuned.