Bengals News

Week in Review: 5 Dangerous Match-Ups for Bengals vs Ravens

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2. Bengals’ Interior Offensive Line vs. Haloti Ngata and Terrence Cody

The Bengals are down to a rookie, a back-up and a free agent recently signed off the street as their starting interior linemen. Unfortunately, recently-signed center Jeff Faine, back-up guard Clint Boling and rookie guard Kevin Zeitler will face a daunting task.

Between Haloti Ngata and Terrence Cody, the Bengals face a tandem of freakish size/speed combinations. Cody is a 6-4, 349 pound force at nose tackle and will face off against the Bengals’ new center and young guards. Cody has a quick first step and, with size and leverage, can walk a blocker backwards and disrupt the play.

Faine, to his credit, has gained experience around the league and played for the brothers Gruden in Tampa Bay.

Zeitler and Boling will have to get off the ball quickly and be decisive in their technique to counteract nose-tackle-sized (6-4, 330) Ngata’s versatile pass rush and strength from the defensive tackle position.

3. Rey Maualuga vs. Ray Rice

By all indications, Rey Maualuga will be all healed up and ready to hit the field on Monday night. With Rice in the opposing backfield, Maualuga’s quickness will be paramount. So will his conditioning, since running around after the pocket-sized Rice in a relentless no-huddle attack will be grueling, to say the least.

Considering Rice’s shiftiness, Maualuga’s supposed new-found patience will face an early season trial by fire. Last season, the Ravens ran almost exclusively zone running plays against the Bengals, taking advantage of their aggressiveness. Rice often found an open cut-back lane with his ability to throw on the brakes and change direction.

By not falling into his old habit of over-pursuing plays, instead maintaining gap integrity and limiting cutback opportunities, Maualuga can help shut down this Bengal killer.