It is not a must win, but it would be big for the Bengals.
If you look at what the oddsmakers think about this game at any online sportsbook you notice the Bengals are favored to win by 4 points. Based on the path the Bengals and Eagles have taken this season it is an easy assumption to make that the Bengals should be favored.
But what do the Bengals need to do on the field to take care of the Eagles?
1. Pressure the QB – The Bengals currently lead the NFL as a team in sacks (42) and are led by the incredible Geno Atkins up front. The Bengals need to make the young Eagles QB Nick Foles uncomfortable in the pocket and not allow him the time needed for the play to develop. This alone will affect the outcome of this game more than any other factor.
2. Run the ball – In establishing the run the Bengals are going to open up the passing game. Benjarvis Green-Ellis has been on a hot streak lately and the Bengals need to continue feeding him the ball.
3. Get the ball to AJ Green – The Eagles are among the worst in the league at covering the other teams number 1 wideouts. There is no better number one than AJ Green. I expect him to want to make up for the poor game he had against the cowboys and think he could put up some big numbers tonight.
I expect this game to be a statement by the Bengals that they are hungry and in the playoff hunt. I can’t see them taking their foot off the gas as that is what burned them last week against the Cowboys. I can see the Bengals winning this game 34 to 13.