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The Bengals can win with Brandon Allen

The veteran QB looks to exact revenge on the Cleveland Browns.

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Cincinnati Bengals Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

Even though Zac Taylor decided to rest starting quarterback Joe Burrow in the season finale, that doesn’t mean the team isn’t going to try, especially if the Kansas City Chiefs lose to the Denver Broncos on Saturday, leaving the door to a higher seed ever so slightly open.

Yes, the Bengals have six players on the COVID list, including Joe Mixon, Trey Hendrickson, and Quinton Spain. But the team still has guys who want and know how to win. One of those guys is backup quarterback Brandon Allen, who learned he’d be the starter in a funny way.

So far this season, Allen has only been asked to come in to finish games. Thus, he’s only attempted four passes (though one resulted in a seven-yard touchdown against the Detroit Lions). But Allen is a capable quarterback.

More importantly, Allen is a reflection of the system head coach Zac Taylor has put in place. He’s continually made progress as he has learned the offense.

Late last year, Allen had a tremendous game against the Houston Texas, throwing for 371 yards and two touchdowns while completing 78.4% of his passes. That game was a sign that he was making improvement and that Taylor—who also got a solid game out of Ryan Finley in that cathartic win over the Pittsburgh Steelers—was capable of maximizing his quarterbacks’ abilities.

Now Allen gets to face Case Keenum and a deflated Cleveland Browns team. While the Bengals quarterback won’t have some of the team’s best players available, this squad has shown that it is deep and competitive. They enjoy playing with and for each other. And—contrary to preseason evaluations—the roster seems to be bubbling with talent, which means a lot of guys who haven’t had opportunities could make big contributions this week.

That attitude may give them an advantage against a Browns team that allowed the injured Baker Mayfield to be sacked nine times in last week’s loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers despite offensive line being one of Cleveland’s strengths.

We preview the upcoming intrastate game in the video below:

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