This weekend, the Cincinnati Bengals face one of the better teams they have seen all season. The Seattle Seahawks are coming off a bye after winning three games in a row. Their only loss of the season came to the Los Angeles Rams, of all teams, in Week 1.
So what do the Bengals need to do to give Seattle loss number two?
In their last game, the Seahawks defense had 11 sacks. ELEVEN. It wasn’t just one player going crazy, either. Seven different players had a sack. This is obviously a sensitive issue for Bengals fans, who have felt plagued by poor pass protection for years.
The Bengals have invested heavily in the offensive line over the past few offseasons, and that needs to show on the field this Sunday. Orlando Brown and Co. need to ball out to stop that dominant pass rush and show that it’s a new season in Cincinnati.
Joe Burrow Doing Joe Burrow Things
The Bengals will win a lot of games if Joe Burrow can get into “kill mode” week in and week out. They need him to execute deep passes and use his calves to escape pressure. This offense needs explosive plays like the bomb he dropped on Ja’Marr Chase a week ago.
Play from the Front
Taking an early lead will go a huge way towards winning this game. Seattle likes to run the football and execute play-action passes. Forcing them to play catch-up will put them outside their comfort zone. This also gives the Bengals the ability to feed Joe Mixon in the run game and set up some play actions of their own.
Consistency on D
There has been a lot of criticism of Lou Anarumo’s defensive unit this season, but I think their only real problem is consistency. They have played some great football at times, but they have had letdowns that resulted in explosive plays and points. They need to improve their tackling and stay true to their assignments. Both of the preceding are fixable problems. This defense has the potential to be elite once they add this one piece.
The Bengals have placed an emphasis on creating more turnovers defensively and have acquired the guys they need to do it. Last week, a pick-six by Cam Taylor-Britt helped them win the middle eight, and an interception by Germaine Pratt late iced the game. Logan Wilson and Dax Hill have each had a pair of interceptions this season as well. If I had to guess, I’d say it’s DJ Turner’s turn this week. Look for the rookie to get his first career interception this weekend. I smell a Trey Hendrickson strip/sack as well.