The Cincinnati Bengals really need to make a run coming out of the bye, but heading out West to San Francisco and coming home with a win isn’t going to be easy.
Here is what they need to do to get it done.
Offensive Line Play
The 49ers pass rush, and really their entire front seven, is ridiculous. The Bengals have made a large investment over the past two seasons, replacing 80% of their offensive line. Those guys need to step up and win in the trenches.
Play from the Front
Being one-dimensional does not help your offensive line. The Bengals need to be able to run and pass, and that means they can’t fall behind early. It would be advantageous for them to take an early lead and force the 49ers away from their run game. This would not only neuter the most potent part of the San Francisco offense, but it would allow Trey Hendrickson and Sam Hubbard to tee off on Brock Purdy.
The Bengals have had too many missed tackles this season, and that has to be fixed to win this one. Not only do the 49ers have an excellent running game; they have a plethora of pass-catchers who are dangerous after the catch. The Bengals' defenders must be excellent tacklers in this game.
One area where the Bengals defense has been very good is the red zone. That will be a key to getting the win this weekend. The 49ers will get their yards, but if the Bengals can force field goals, they should be fine. Of course, the other side of this is the Bengals offense creating scores once they get inside the 20. Joe Burrow and Co. must execute in this area.
Another area the Bengals must win as a team is the turnover margin. This offense cannot squander opportunities. In fact, the defense has to figure out ways to get the ball in Burrow’s hands more often. That will be a huge factor in the outcome of this game.