Lewis may have been on the practice squad at this time last week and may only have 1 NFL game to his name, but in said game, he played for a terrible Browns team, on the road, against a good Pittsburgh defense, and completed 68.8% of his passes for 204 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT and a respectable 83.3 rating. Marvin Lewis has proven over the years that QBs like Thad Lewis can be dangerous if not properly prepared for, and the Bengals shouldn’t need any reminders (see loss to Hoyer).
However, Andy Dalton is head and heels above Lewis. Dalton may not be having a great year, but regardless of how you feel about Dalton, the facts are that Dalton has as many TD passes since the start of 2012 (32) as Lewis has pass attempts in his NFL career.
The Bills center Eric Wood (Elder and Louisville) is one of the better centers in the league and leads one of the best run blocking offensive lines in the league (3rd in rushing ypg – 152.6). Two weeks ago, the Browns held the Bengals to just 63 rushing yards (3.2 ypc). Last week, facing the same Browns defense in Cleveland, the Bills gouged the Browns for 155 yards (5.0 ypc). However, pass blocking is not this line’s strength. In 5 games, the Bills have yielded the 6th most sacks in the league (15) despite having only 170 passing attempts (19th) – or 8.11% of their pass attempts (20th). The Bengals, however, have the opposite issue. They are pass blocking well (T-8th with 11 sacks – 5.91% of pass attempts), but not doing a great job run blocking (19th rushing ypg – 99.4). The Bengals did find success last week against a good NE defense (162 yards – 42 ypc), and therefore, overall, I give the edge to the Bengals.