The Bengals also have a few stealth bombs of their own ready to launch that may be the difference makers in this game. Everyone knows the Pro Bowler A.J. Green and breakout wide receiver Andrew Hawkins, but not too many coaches have had to prepare for the ability and talent of Cincinnati’s Armon Binns and Brandon Tate. Not only have these guys proven themselves with tough catches and hard work, they are large and intimidating at 6’3”, 210 lbs and 6’1”, 200 lbs respectively. Given the right opportunities against a deteriorating Redskins defense, these guys could blow this game up. Binns is coming into this game with 9 receptions for 94 yards and Tate is bringing in 4 receptions for 74 yards and a touchdown. With these guys on the field, combined with Hawkins and Green, Sunday’s game could be an aerial showdown for Andy Dalton.
Both defenses have struggled this season in the first two weeks. The Redskins defense has allowed 810 total yards over their past two games, while the Bengals defense has allowed 869. Neither of these numbers bode well for the teams trying to hold back potentially explosive offenses this week. Not to mention, the Redskins have two key players that were recently injured and will be forced to use backups in their place that have not seen much game time. The Bengals have been dealing with their injuries since the season began. Their backups have seen plenty of game time already and will be more settled starting the game.
More good news for Cincinnati is DE Carlos Dunlap should return to play this Sunday. This is welcome timing as Howard and Anderson are now both out for the season with injuries. The team also added DE Wallace Gilberry from FA to fill in the gaps on defense. Both Dunlap and Gilberry are known for getting after the quarterback, an area where Cincinnati has struggled so far this season. With these two guys and Michael Johnson lining up, the young RGIII may have his hands full.
If I were a chess player, I would say…Checkmate Bengals.