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One Final Thought: Bengals vs Raiders

As we prepare to watch the Bengals' open their season against the Raiders, I can't help but think about what the Bengals need to avoid the most in Oakland.

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On paper, the Bengals are facing an Oakland team they should be able to beat. Even the experts have Cincinnati as a 3 point favorite and the talking heads of the media mostly pick Cincinnati to win the game.

That is all on paper; on the field is where the game will be won or lost. What the Bengals need to be weary of is the defensive scheme that Ken Norton Jr. is running in Oakland. This is a guy who has proven he knows how to get the most out of his personnel. As he climbed the ranks in college and then the pros, he was known for developing some of the best linebackers in recent history.

What the Bengals need to avoid on offense is being out schemed. The talent level the Bengals will run out on the field is better than what Oakland can counter, especially when it comes to the Raiders' secondary. So the Bengals need to establish the pace on offense and dictate the pace of the game.

Andy Dalton needs to understand that sometimes a punt is the best option and he shouldn't force the ball to a receiver in desperation. The rest of the offense needs to hold onto the football and not allow this defense to gain any momentum. If Cincinnati can score, I don't think the Oakland offense will be able to keep pace.

Here's to the start of the NFL season, WhoDey!