Patriots @ Bengals: What to Watch For

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Sep 16, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals running back Giovani Bernard (25) high steps into the end zone for a touchdown during the third quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

 

When the Bengals Run the Ball:
Despite a nice one-two punch in BJGE and Bernard, the Bengals have struggled to run the ball. However, a lot of that has to do with the fact that Gruden has been getting way too pass heavy (148 passes to 86 rushes – or just 36.7%). With Dalton’s struggles throwing the ball, Marvin’s desire to be more balanced on offense, and the Patriots missing Vince Wilfork, look for the Bengals to run more this Sunday. The Patriots were ranked 14th against the run with Wilfork. Without him the Bengals should find some running lanes.
Advantage: Bengals

 

When the Bengals Throw the Ball:
The Bengals have the talent at WR and TE to expose a weak secondary (ranked 17th against pass) talent wise, but that assumes Dalton can be accurate and Gruden can outfox Belichick. I do not trust either of those to occur. Belichick has given fits to Peyton Manning and Dalton has been confused by the Cleveland Browns. I would expect there to be opportunities on Sunday, but I don’t trust Dalton or Gruden to capitalize on them.
Advantage: Patriots

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  • Berdj Rassam

    The Patriots should beat the Bengals today, 20-15.