The Cincinnati Bengals are set to take on the Indianapolis Colts in Week 8. This game seems one sided on paper, but if the Bengals mess around like last week they could find this outcome to be just as disappointing.
Here are the five things the Bengals need to make sure they do in order to beat the Colts.
Stick with the run game
The most frustrating part from the Bengals Week 7 loss was the team abandoning the running game in the second half. The Bengals entered the second half only down six, but Joe Mixon, who averaged nearly seven yards a carry, never carried the ball after halftime.
Becoming one dimensional isn’t a thing this team can do successfully. They need the threat of the run to keep the defense from pinning their ears back and attacking Dalton. That is what happened against the Steelers, and it was ugly.
The Colts have a run defense that allows 4.3 yards per carry. Mixon should have a nice game.
Get the ball to A.J. Green
I can’t believe I have to add this, but last week Dalton couldn’t get the ball to Green in the second half, and the Steelers kept him quiet most of the game. The Colts will likely have Vontae Davis covering Green, but Dalron shouldn’t be afraid to take some shots against this defense that has allowed the second most passing yards to offenses this season.
The thing Green has also showed time and time again is that even when he is covered good things can happen when you throw him the ball. How many times have we seen him leap over two defenders for a pass?
Pressure Jacoby Brissett
The Colts offensive line is horrible. Last week they allowed 10 sacks. The Bengals defensive line has been pretty good at getting to the quarterback this season. They honestly should run a similar defense to what they ran against the Bills and Tyrod Taylor. Brissett comes from that same school of quarterbacks.
When everything breaks down he isn’t afraid to escape the pocket and buy time for his receivers. The Bengals defensive line will need to pressure him, but they also need to stay disciplined.
Offensive supporting cast stepping up
The Bengals will finally have John Ross back in the lineup. It is great timing as it seems like Tyler Boyd and Cody Core will both be out this week. Ross will hopefully take some attention away from Green by making a few big plays.
The team will also need Tyler Kroft and Brandon LaFell to have a nice outing and take advantage of a bad defense. The Bengals should easily be able to blow through this game if everyone is doing their part.
Create some turnovers
One of the big issues with this team all season has been the lack of turnovers from this defense. The Bengals defense has created five turnovers in six games.
Meanwhile, the offense has turned it over 14 times. This has created one of the worst turnover ratios in the NFL. It is no wonder the Bengals have only won two games so far.
The Bengals may be able to get by slightly losing the turnover battle, but it is best not to chance it. That is the easiest way for a bad team to hang around and find a way to win.