This can be tied in with numbers one and two above. While the offense was one of Cincy’s biggest weaknesses in the recent past, the linebacking core had to rank close up there. At this point, is there anyone else the Bengals would rather see behind the line than Vontaze Burfict. He is the defensive equivalent of an AJ Green or Calvin Johnson. You want to see him every play. Before Vinny Rey stepped up and became a beast in his own realm, the other Rey had noticeably improved from years past.
4. Healthy Offense
Assuming that Kevin Zeitler is back after the Bye, this offense could be healthier than it has been all year. The offensive line should be at full strength. All of the skilled positions are full-go. Gio’s recurring rib injury should have more than enough time to heal. This Bye and holiday week should allow every player’s nicks and bruises to recover.