This will probably be the toughest game the Bengals play this season. There are a boatload of reasons the Broncos should dominate the Bengals on Sunday.
1. Shaky o-line vs an incredible D-Line.
2. Terrible coverage ability by the secondary facing a QB that lives on picking apart a secondary.
3. Weak run stuffing vs a team that can run the ball.
4. A QB that has never lost to the Bengals (7-0)
5. Bengals are 3-5-1 coming out of the bye.
6. Top 5 3rd down offense against worst 3rd down defense.
7. QB that audibles to exploit defense against a LB core that is easily exploited.
8. The Bengals can’t run the ball.
Do the Bengals have a chance in the game? (aside from the any given Sunday chance every team in the NFL has?)
Yes. So how can the Bengals beat the Broncos?
1. With the extra week of practice the Bengals should have studied how Manning is playing this season. Manning has shown a tendency to force the ball in the first half this season. Almost all of Denver’s games have been prime time, so chances are you have seen them at some point. Think back to the Falcons and Chargers games. Manning was forced to get rid of the ball quicker than he wanted and tried to force passes to his wide outs. This led to several turnovers. The Bengals solid defensive line needs to hit and pressure Manning the whole game. No easy task as Denver does have some great tackles, but other teams have shown it can be done. Pressure Manning to get the ball out too soon and good things can happen for your team.
2. No one in Denver can cover AJ Green. This will force the defense to double cover him. (unless they play him like the Redskins. If that happens AJ will be open all day). Receivers like Sanu, Hawkins and Gresham are going to need to take advantage of the attention Green is getting. Move the ball down the field in chunks. Make every play a positive and keep your self out of third and long.
3. Contain. Manning is going to exploit this defense. However, you can control the exploitation. You know that the middle of the field has been open based on out linebacker play. The Broncos know it too. Use that to contain Manning’s passes to quick hits for short gains. Keep the clock moving so that you don’t have to march down the field in a shootout with the Broncos. Long drives on both sides keep the score down and the Bengals in the game.
In order for the Bengals to be in this game they need to play well. The stupid turnovers need to be eliminated and the unimaginative coaching needs to revert to what we watched in weeks 2 – 4. We get it, the Bengals are dogs. Denver looks to be one of the better teams in the league and is probably improving each week. All we can hope from our Bengals is some inspired play and a strong game plan. Based on what we have seen in the last 3 weeks that is a big hope. But, with a bye week and some time to heal, hopefully the Bengals can right the ship and start with the beating of a very good NFL team at home this Sunday.