July 26, 2014

Who Dey GamePlan: Bengals/Ravens

Matchup Problem:  Ed Reed. Reed has victimized the Bengals before, grabbing interceptions and occasionally taking them for touchdowns. He’s very instinctive and sometimes ignores what he’s supposed to do in a defense in order to follow his instincts. The Bengals are facing a huge challenge against a Baltimore team that will be determined to rebound after an embarrassing loss to Seattle, so Cincinnati can’t afford any costly turnovers, let alone those that result in points. Andy Dalton will need to be aware of Reed and will need to keep the ball out of his hands.

Players to Watch: Cedric Benson/Bernard Scott. Cincinnati could have some success running the ball against Baltimore, considering Seattle’s Marshawn Lynch had a solid game last weekend. As many noted in the Steelers game, the running back rotation of Benson and Scott might be unpopular with Benson, but it’s rather effective. It would have been interesting to see how the Pittsburgh game would have turned out if Cincy had stayed with the run instead of letting Andy Dalton throw that costly interception to William Gay. Regardless, it’s hard to imagine the Bengals winning on the road if Benson and Scott can’t gain consistent yards and control the tempo of the game.

How the Bengals can win: First off, having A.J. Green, Arcade Game Jones, and Carlos Dunlap on the field would help. Secondly, the team needs to follow the running game and mistake-free formula that has proven effective all season. Carson Palmer carved up Baltimore in one of his last games as a Bengal and sluggish Seattle scored a lot last week so the Ravens defense is far from impenetrable. It’d be nice to see a huge rushing total and solid performances from both Benson and Scott, taking some pressure off Dalton in what is certain to be a hostile situation. It’d also be nice if the receivers would make a few more plays than last week, when they didn’t do much to help their rookie quarterback. I hate to say it, but I give Baltimore the edge in this game because of their desperation if nothing else. Fortunately, Cincinnati has the second meeting, the season finale, at home. And it’s that game that could prove pivotal for the playoffs.

Who Dey.

Comments

  1. Bill says:

    The things that concerns me: 1) The game is in Baltimore. 2) They lost last week. 3) Ray Rice catching the ball out of the backfield. 4) A.J. Green in street clothes.
    The things that keep me optimistic: 1) Marvin Lewis is 10-6 against the Ravens as HC, even getting them once last year with a 4-12 team. 2) The Steelers were good practice for Dalton for this week, and he doesn’t make many mistakes twice. 3) The D-line. 4) Ray Lewis in street clothes.
    You are 100% right that the running game will be a great gauge for the game. If Benson and Scott can get close to 100 yards, I like their chances. These two usually play a close game, and that bodes well the Bengals late. I’ll call now that the D or teams will make a huge play that gives the Bengals the W.