Keys to Victory for the Cincinnati Bengals and Dallas Cowboys

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Dec 2, 2012; San Diego, CA, USA; Cincinnati Bengals running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis (42) runs the ball during the third quarter against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports


Here’s how I viewed Monday Night’s football game, from a fan perspective.

If the Washington Redskins won, it would have given them added momentum going into their match-up next week against the Baltimore Ravens.

If the New York Giants won, if would mean they would pull away a little in a close division, taking away from the Dallas Cowboys’ hopes of a playoff shot.  I obviously didn’t want that to increase the urgency in their game against Cincinnati.

So I guess I wanted the Giants to win a very close game.

Of course, that didn’t happen. Regardless of what would have favored the Bengals, their main focus now will be to defeat a Cowboys team that is starting to heat up.

Three weeks ago, I said this would be a close game. I’m sticking to that, but perhaps the energy in this game is beginning to shift. Despite the game being in Cincinnati and the Bengals riding a four-game winning streak, Dallas may very well be favored at Paul Brown Stadium this Sunday.

I’m certainly worried.

This game will ultimately come down to a few things.

The defense is going to be huge. Both offenses are giving opposing defensive coaches fits when they have the ball. So the game may very well depend on which defense finds a way to stop the offense on the other side of the football.

The rankings would suggest the Bengals have an edge in that. The Cowboys’ defense is ranked 11th overall, being ranked 17th against the ground game, and 10th against the pass attack.

Meanwhile, the Cincinnati defense is ranked 11th in both categories, coming to 8th overall.

Both defense have been steadily improving as the season has gone by.

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