We dig deep into the mailbag again to see what is keeping Bengals fans up at night.
@CincyJungle With 3 straight primetime games coming up, is this when we see if the Bengals really are who we think they are?— Jackson Smith (@DamnSon29) November 3, 2015
At 7-0 and with wins over Baltimore, Seattle and Pittsburgh, two of which were on the road, and a thorough beating on the road of a current wild card contender, Oakland, the Bengals have proven plenty. Sure, they have a poor primetime record, but two of the three games in the next three weeks (all in primetime) are at home against bad teams (Cleveland and Houston). A win in those games (primetime or not) proves little and a loss in either game would be concerning - not because of the primetime element, but because it would be a loss to a far inferior team. I think the game in Arizona will be a good measuring stick, but a loss in Arizona (primetime or not) will not concern me unless they are embarrassed. Personally, I think the primetime woes are greatly overblown. In their last two primetime games, the Bengals beat an impressive Denver team at home and lost a close game in Pittsburgh - a game in which they were driving to take the lead and may have won had A.J. Green not received a concussion and fumbled on the last possession.
A little, but this coaching staff loves veterans, so it is not shocking to me that they would look to Eric Winston first. Winston is a battle-tested veteran and a player who the coaches clearly trust. That being said, I don't think they would be uncomfortable with Jake Fisher, nor do I think they will hesitate to get him in there.
I doubt they would activate anyone as that would require them to waive someone. With Andre Smith out, the Bengals will go with seven lineman: Andrew Whitworth, Clint Boling, Kevin Zeitler, Russell Bodine, Fisher, Winston and T.J. Johnson. Johnson and Fisher can both play guard and tackle and Boling can play tackle as well - the benefit of having versatile linemen.
Good question Guttersnake! We heard during training camp about Bodine's struggles snapping the ball and on Sunday, we saw it affect a game. As simple as it is - and as much as we take it for granted - the center/quarterback exchange is one of the most important plays in all of football and when it goes wrong, it brings an offense to a screeching halt. That being said, I don't see Bodine as the biggest concern. To me, the biggest concern (from a player standpoint) is still at the linebacker position - even with Vontaze Burfict back.
Stanley, I think many Bengals fans are wondering the same. Cedric Ogbuehi is done with rehab, but he has yet to practice. I agree with what Dave Lapham has said, that Ogbuehi only will get activated if a lineman goes down with a significant injury. When the Bengals drafted Ogbuehi, they drafted him with the thought that 2015 would essentially be a redshirt season and I think they would prefer to keep it that way. Ideally, they don't need to activate him and can work him back in next year at 100 percent.