It was another disappointing finish for the Cincinnati Bengals in Green Bay. The Bengals fell to the Packers in overtime with the final score of 27-24. It was extra heartbreaking because the Bengals hopped out to a 21-7 lead only to fall in the end to Aaron Rodgers.
Now at 0-3 the Bengals have a huge hole to climb out of, but the first step out of the hole is the Cleveland Browns. The Browns are also looking for their first win of the season, and former Bengals’ offensive coordinator Hue Jackson will be ready to pull out all of the stops against his former team.
In order for the Bengals to finally get one in the win column these players will need to step up against the Browns:
It has finally happened. The Bengals have handed the reigns to Mixon as the feature back. He did pretty well in his first game with that role. He gained 101 yards on Sunday. The Bengals will need even more from him against the Browns. Cleveland’s run defense is middle of the road, and Mixon will have opportunities to make a big play on Sunday. The more he can do, the less pressure the rest of this offense will have on it.
Back from his suspension finally, and it couldn’t come at a better time. The Bengals have to win this game, and while Cleveland’s offense has been struggling the past two week, it is always helpful to have your defensive leader return in a a game like this.
Burfict will step in for Vincent Rey who did what he could during Burfict’s absence, but there is no substitute or the heart and soul of these defense. This may get the defense even more hyped up after playing pretty well the first three weeks of the season, which isn’t good news for DeShone Kizer.
It doesn’t look like Tyler Eifert will be back this week, which means Green needs to pick up the slack again. Last week Green caught 10 passes for 111 yards and the Bengals first touchdown of the season, and if the Bengals win this week Green will need to play similarly.
Hue Jackson knows how much of this offense goes through Green, so the Browns game plan may be to try and do everything possible to take him away. If Bill Lazor showed us anything last week it is that he knows how to get his star receiver into good situations. Expect plenty of quick passes his way as the Bengals look to protect Andy Dalton from Greg Williams’ blitzes.
The Browns went out and upgraded their offensive line this season, which includes the addition of Kevin Zeitler the former Bengals’ guard. The one weak spot on the line seems to be at right tackle where Shon Coleman is starting. That is who Dunlap will be matched up against all game, and the Bengals will need him to consistently win that matchup.
Kizer also has a habit of holding onto the ball way too long. Dunlap should come away with a few sacks based on that alone. Either way Dunlap needs to cause some havoc and rattle the rookie early to help out the defense.
It seems like every week we have to talk about Dalton. Last week he put up an efficient two touchdown performance, but it was the throws he missed that ended up costing the Bengals a chance to put the game out of reach. Instead he allowed the Packers to hang around.
This week Williams will be dialing up the blitzes against that Bengals’ offensive line and licking his lips. Dalton’s biggest jobs will be identifying where the blitzes are coming from and getting the ball out early. Dalton made a huge step in the right direction last week. Now all he has to do is finish off a game, and the Bengals will be just fine.