clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

So…you’re saying there’s a chance

Somehow, someway there’s still a chance for this Cincinnati squad.

Yes, you read that correctly: There is still a chance for the Cincinnati Bengals to run through the final weeks of the regular season maze and find their way into the NFL Playoffs.

Yeah, I get it, that sound’s crazy, right? It’s the NFL, anything can happen.

For the past several weeks, there have been several things they have had to fix or at least try to fix. Some things they have fixed and some things they have definitely not changed.

Starting in week 13, the Bengals decided to listen to fans and give rookie back Chase Brown more touches, and it worked to their advantage as he helped lead them to a 34-31 overtime win.

One thing the team has not done, and it has killed them, is their defense. Last week against the Steelers didn’t help their situation either. They allowed a 3rd string quarterback to air out 290 yards and a couple touchdowns.

But they are also still in the top 10 in creating turnovers and still have one of the best defensive ends in the league, Trey Hendrickson, who is second in the league with 16 sacks.

But again, it’s the NFL, and anything can happen. Each week is different.

The next two weeks are pretty much a must-win game. Yes, I know, I’ve said that the last few weeks, but again, every week has been a must-win, depending on the outcomes of all of the other AFC teams still in the hunt.

But that was also considering several weeks remaining with the chance for the Bengals to stay hot and create a snowball effect into the playoffs, things change. Now, time is ticking, and ticking fast. With only two games remaining, they don’t have much of an option besides win, and have multiple other teams lose.

According to the New York Times playoff predictor, if the Bengals win out, they have a 94% of making the playoffs. If they lose this week in Kansas City, their chances plummet to 7%.

The Chiefs have had a rough few weeks, and it’s obvious they aren’t as fluid as they normally are. The Bengals need to make it worse.

If the Bengals can do a few things this week at Arrowhead, they can bring home the win.

Run Game

The Bengals need to get back to running efficiently and complementary. Keep using both Mixon and Brown. It’s working. Simple as that.

No Fancy Trick Plays

There are certain trick plays they need to stray away from, and the Bengals have found every one of them. You can do some trick plays every now and then, maybe a flea flicker or double reverse, but quit letting position players throw the ball further than 10 yards. Better yet, at this point in the season, just don’t do it.

Blitz

BLITZ! BLITZ! BLITZ! Especially this week. Last week was a prime example of why. When the Raiders blitzed, which was often, Mahomes didn’t know what to do, which created either a turnover or a sack. Believe it or not, we have great defenders. If our defensive line, with the help of a couple of defensive backs, plays to their potential, it could be a long day for Mahomes again.

No Explosive Plays

Shut down Kelce and Rice. Week in and week out, they allow tight ends to get wide open, and it kills them. Kelce has been held to under 90 yards in three consecutive weeks. That still sounds like a good day, but not compared to his normal.

Create Plays

The Bengals receivers need to get open and capitalize on yards after the catch. There have been several weeks where they’ve had issues catching the ball. This late in the season, you can’t miss plays. You have to create plays down the field. Use your tools to your advantage.

Protect Browning

The Chiefs know just as much as the Bengals know, this is newly established rivalry. The last time these teams faced each other, Chris Jones wreaked havoc. There have only been a handful of games where every lineman performed outstanding, and each outcome was positive. It’s funny how those correlate.

Jonah has been pretty well overall but had a very tough time against TJ Watt last week. He has to bring his ‘A’ game Sunday, along with every other lineman. Orlando Brown Jr. should have some extra motivation facing his former team. Cordell Volson and Alex Cappa need to hold sturdy up the middle to prevent any blitzes.

Providing time allows for plays to be made, which allows for games to be won.

This Bengals team knows their potential, they know each other. Possibly getting Ja’Marr and Cam Taylor-Britt back this week could be huge. This team can beat the Chiefs at their prime, let alone when the team isn’t clicking. They can very possibly go into Arrowhead and improve their record to 4-1 and help their chances to find the end of the maze to the playoffs.