Stripe Hype Preview: Bengals Digging for Gold
Saturday night primetime football promises to be an exciting matchup as the Cincinnati Bengals continue their tour of NFC West dwellars against the San Francisco 49ers, I’d imagine this game will keep everyone glued to their Barco Loungers. That is of course the people who can actually see the game. The NFL in it’s less than infinite wisdom is televising the game their personal network, cutting out a large swath of fans from watching. Maybe for this game, it’s for the best
When the Bengals have the ball
Carson Palmer and Chad Johnson are both looking to bounce back after terrible games in their win over the St. Louis Rams. Palmer didn’t throw a touchdown, and was picked off twice, while Ocho Cinco had just two catches. Rudi Johnson seemingly got off his season long schneid when he busted out for 92 yards and a touchdown. DeDe Dorsey added 81 yards on four carries, and might get more carries to finish out the season, in order to see what he can do.
The San Francisco is just a bad football team right , and the Bengals are going to look to dominate on the ground, as the ‘Niners rank 23rd in the NFL against the run, compared to an almost respectable 15th against opposing passing attacks. You wanna know how bad San Fran’s run defense is? They rank behind Cincy’s, that’s how bad.
Bob Bratkowski is far from an imaginative play caller, and there’s always the chance he’ll forget who he’s facing and call the wrong plays, but I don’t expect tomorrow’s game to be an aerial circus on the Bengals side of the ball.
When the 49ers have the ball
As bad as San Francisco is on Defense, they’re worse on Offense. The 49ers rank dead last in the NFL in points per game, (13.2) dead last in total yards per game, (235.5) and dead last in passing yards per game. (150.0) The only major offensive category where they don’t rank 32nd, rushing yards per game, (85.5) they rank 29th. Even a Bengals offense that has a hard time stopping anyone should be able to smother this offense.
For the 2nd straight week, the Bengals will be facing off against a recent 3rd string quarterback making his first NFL start. This time, Shaun Hill will be under center for the sad sack Niners this Saturday, since Alex Smith is lost for the season due to a shoulder injury, and Trent Dilfer is out thanks to a concussion. Hill’s only other game action before last week’s start were two kneel downs in a 2005 game with the Minnesota Vikings. Hill performed admirably after relieving Dilfer in last week’s game against those Minnesota Vikings, leading his team to their only touchdown in a 27-7 loss
San Francisco has exactly one offensive weapon at their disposal, and he’s banged up. Frank Gore has been as big a factor for his team as Terrell Owens and Randy Moss have been for theirs, with the big difference being, his team is awful. After running for almost 1,700 yards, and catching 61 passes last year Gore has struggled with injuries, and defenses that can focus all their energies on stopping him. Gore has still managed 781 yards (a 4.2 YPC average) and leads the ‘Niners in receptions with 46. Gore is listed as “probable” for the game tomorrow, and if the Bengals, or his gimpy ankle can bottle him up, San Francisco doesn’t have much in the way of options
Stripe Hype Final Call
Even if Frank Gore manages a decent game, it’s going to take 200+ yards and a couple of touchdown runs to make this game close. I look for Palmer to throw at least one touchdown, and the running game to wear down a weak 49er defense. Bengals win 24-3