Time to wake up Bengals Nation. If I'm up then you should be up as well. Sleeping in is overrated. It's the weekend and you should be doing something productive with your time like home maintenance, working on your car, building something, or something else that's macho-like. Okay, in reality I would much rather be sleeping in, but I have a long list of things that need to be taken care of and there's not enough time in the day to do all of them.
So we're one day away from watching the Bengals attempt to win their fifth straight game, sixth overall, as they take on the Tennessee Titans. With a win on Sunday it will be the Bengals longest winning streak since the glorious 1988 season where they ended up going to the Super Bowl under head coach Sam Wyche. But that was before I was born, so yeah.....about that.
Also with a win it will be the third time since 1988 that the Bengals have started off the season 6-2. And what happened the other two times the Bengals started off 6-2? They went to the playoffs in 2005 and 2009. Not saying the Bengals will make the playoffs this year, but a win on Sunday only helps their chances.
Keys for the Bengals on Sunday against the Titans.
- Stay healthy. With tight end Jermaine Gresham and linebacker Rey Maualuga being doubtful for Sunday, the Bengals cannot afford anymore injuries at either of those positions. Sure they have some depth, but if they suffer another injury at let's say tight end, then what are they going to do? And as is the case in general, you don't want any of your key, impact, or any player to get injured.
- Limit the damage by Titans running back Chris Johnson. I know Johnson has had an ugly season up to this point. But that doesn't matter. He's still a huge threat to rack up an insane amount of yards on the ground no matter what.
- The defense needs to continue doing what they're doing minus last week's passing defense against the Seattle Seahawks. The Bengals defense has been a huge surprise this season. Who expected them to be this good? I know I didn't. I figured they would be in the top 15 for sure, but not the top five. Last week the Bengals allowed 350 yards in the air. I couldn't believe that two mediocre quarterbacks torched the Bengals defense for that many yards. As long as the Bengals don't have that repeat performance then they should be able to hold their own.
If the Bengals can do this and put up some points then it should be smooth sailing for them. Nevertheless, it should be a close, competitive, exciting match-up.
My prediction: The Bengals will cruise to their fifth straight victory to keep their streak alive by defeating the Titans 24-20.
Alright here is a look at what you may have missed or overlooked from Friday.
- The latest injury and practice report for the Bengals and Titans. Maualuga did participate in practice and Adam Jones attempted to practice while nursing injuries.
- One group of players that tend to be overlooked are those who contribute on special teams. And the Bengals return game has some playmakers lurking within it.
- Is it too early to draw comparisons between the 2009 Bengals that went to the playoffs and the 2011 Bengals that are seeking a playoff birth? Are the 2011 Bengals better than the 2009 Bengals?
- The league has fined Bengals defensive end Domata Peko and wide receiver Andre Caldwell for their actions against the Seahawks during week eight. In all honesty this doesn't come as a surprise.
- A recap of an interview between our very own Jason Garrison and Dan Hoard.
- If you want a good laugh then check out some outtakes from the Bengals Round Table.
- The streak is over! The Bengals week ten match-up against the Pittsburgh Steelers is a sell-out. The game will be on television!
- A recap of Marvin Lewis' interview with ESPN Radio's Mike And Mike In The Morning.
- So far this season Cedric Benson has been a hit or miss in each game that he's played in. And this Sunday, Benson is set for a breakout game against the Tennessee Titans.
- According to Andy Dalton, he needs to start making quicker throws with better technique. How many times do you see a rookie admitting that there's room for improvement in their game?
- Last Sunday Andy Dalton threw two interceptions that were intended for A.J. Green and because of the end result of two passes, Green felt as if he let Dalton down.