It cannot be overstated how bad the loss of quarterback Joe Burrow has hurt this team, but the season is not over. This Bengals team has struggled to win games over the last two seasons and although the odds are now stacked high against them, they must learn how to win.
So how can the Bengals pull off the win without their star quarterback? It won’t be easy, but here are 5 keys to pulling it off.
Start Brandon Allen
Despite Mike Garafolo’s report that the Bengals would be starting Brandon Allen, Zac Taylor has refused to officially name a starter. Ryan Finley is severely limited, so the Bengals will be in a much better position if Allen is under center.
Allen started three games for the Broncos last season with mixed results. The big advantage he has over Finley is his arm strength. Although he lacks deep ball accuracy, he can throw a pass deep down field that Tee Higgins can make a play on. This puts the Bengals in a much better position since the deep ball must still be feared
The #Bengals are planning to start QB Brandon Allen on Sunday vs. the #Giants, according to sources. Allen was on the practice squad until the other day when he replaced Joe Burrow on the roster. Ryan Finley, who came in for Burrow against #WashingtonFootball Team, will back up.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) November 25, 2020
If the Bengals are going to have any chance of winning this game, everyone needs to step up and support each other. Allen cannot carry this team. They need everyone around them to be at the top of their game.
Run the Ball
They need to avoid penalties, sacks, and other plays that result in negative yardage to stay out of bad situations.
Running the ball effectively would go a long way towards doing this. If they can run the ball well and avoid third-and-long situations, that will take a lot of physical and mental pressure off of the quarterback. The Bengals need to finally get their running game going this week.
Burrow generally found the receiver he was looking for and got rid of the ball quickly. When he was forced to hold onto the ball a little longer, he was able to keep the play alive with his feet.
Allen is a good athlete, but he lacks Burrow’s pocket presence and ability to create such big plays outside of structure. He will need more time, so the pass protection must be impeccable.
Wide Receivers Step up Their Game
The wide receivers will not have as many opportunities, so they must take advantage when they have a chance to make a play.
The Bengals have a talented trio of wide receivers in Tyler Boyd, A.J. Green, and Higgins. When they are targeted they need to make the catch, even if the ball is a little off target. They need to step up and support Allen by making plays.
Play Lights out Defense
Without Burrow the offense is going to struggle, which means the defense needs to play their best game of the season. They cannot afford to give up any big plays, play poorly in the red zone, or give up points at the end of the half. They cannot have bad drives or tire as the game goes on and fold.
They must make plays, create turnovers, and create scoring opportunities. The offense needs them to be the driving force behind this victory.
When Burrow was carted off the field last week, many fans lost hope for the season, but the Bengals cannot give up. This team needs to learn how to win and build some momentum heading into the offseason. There is not a quarterback on the roster who is good enough to step in and take Burrow’s place. To get the win everyone on the roster and the coaching staff will need to perform at peak levels. They need to come together and fight for each other in order to win this game.