Much like when the Bengals faced Cleveland two weeks ago, I want this game decided early. The Bengals defense has the opportunity to feast on a struggling 49ers offense and a poor offensive line. The focus will be on young Bengals quarterback AJ McCarron, but really the defense will decide if this is a competitive game.
One of the best things the team can do for McCarron is allow him to play without pressure. Not the kind of pressure from a blitzing defense, but the pressure of trying to press to keep pace on the scoreboard.
It's tough to have a real opinion on what McCarron will bring to the table this week. I still think the Bengals have a solid shot of winning out this season. The Denver game is tough in primetime on the road, but they are also struggling to put points up points on offense. If McCarron plays well against Denver, Cincinnati has a very good shot to take it. That game is bookended with the Bengals facing two very bad teams.
I want to see the Bengals' offense run smoothly. I don't really care if we run more than pass, I want to see what happens at the line. I want to see McCarron make NFL adjustments, not force throws and play within his ability. That is what good young quarterbacks do.
The Seattle Seahawks won with a young Russell Wilson by limiting him but allowing him to do what he is capable of. They didn't ask him to put the team on his shoulders and the Bengals can't expect McCarron to play that role for them.
Some questions will be answered today, but more than likely, the day will generate many more questions. I hope they are of the positive variety more than a doom and gloom variety.