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Checklist On Bengals' Five Keys To Victory Over Broncos On Monday Night Football

We look at some of the biggest keys to victory and how the Cincinnati Bengals fared in each aspect in their Monday night match-up against the Denver Broncos.

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Last week, we posted our weekly five keys to victory for the Bengals over the Broncos. Let's have a look and see just how important each aspect ended up being and how Cincinnati fared in each aspect.

The Tight Ends Hold The Keys:

Importance: High

How Bengals Fared: Good To Excellent

Synopsis: With the Bengals having a spotty history against opposing tight ends, clamping down on one of the best in the game was a must. Though Peyton Manning attempted to get the ball to Julius Thomas, it didn't work well, as he had only two catches for 33 yards and zero touchdowns. Jacob Tamme had just one catch for eight yards, with minimal impact as well. On the other side, Jermaine Gresham contributed in the passing game with nine catches for 62 yards and a touchdown.

Leon Hall Versus Wes Welker:

Importance: Low

How Bengals Fared: Good

Synopsis: Welker wasn't one of Manning's primary guys on Monday, but we thought he might be--especially if the Bengals' secondary was able to shut down the Thomas'. His damage in the slot was minimal, with four catches for 30 yards and zero touchdowns. Hall was part of the equation in the shutdownBroncos vs Bengals coverage, as were a number of other pass defenders, but the Thomas' and Emmanuel Sanders remained the biggest threats on the night.

Embrace The Elements And The Atmosphere:

Importance: High

How Bengals Fared: Excellent

Synopsis: Even after the deflation from the early Andy Dalton pick-six was almost audible from the crowd, the Bengals were still fired up by the Cincinnati faithful. After the Bengals popped a big play, they immediately ran over to the crowds along the sidelines and got everyone jacked up. Aside from that, the team was able to deal with the rain that fell in the fourth quarter much better than Manning's Broncos. Three of Manning's four picks occurred in the fourth quarter, one being the coffin nail pick-six, whereas the Bengals went turnover-less in the monsoon-like final quarter.

An Unlikely Hero On Offense:

Importance: Very High

How Bengals Fared: Good

Synopsis: With A.J. Green nursing an arm injury through most of the night and Mohamed Sanu doing a familiar disappearing act, others needed to step up. The two that were pointed at in the five keys were Gresham and Giovani Bernard were the obvious choices and both contributed at a relatively high level. The two combined for 14 catches, 107 yards and two receiving touchdowns and helped ease the lack of production from the two top wideouts.

Disciplined On Defense Against Play-Action:

Importance: High

How Bengals Fared: Good

Synopsis: C.J. Anderson had a decent day, going for 83 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries, but he wasn't a game changer. With the Bengals jumping out to a 13-point lead twice in the game, it forced the Broncos to be a bit one-dimensional and they were unable to use play-action truly effectively, as noted by three of Manning's four interceptions on true drop-back passes.