If the goal of coaching is to be undisciplined, unprepared and manage the game (specifically TOs and ends of halves) the way a teenage girl manages her text messages, then Marvin Lewis has the advantage. If however, that is not the goal, Mike Sherman has the advantage. I believe the goal is not the former, therefore I give Sherman the nod – the very big nod here.
Key to the Game:
The ability of the Bengals to pressure on – and more importantly sack – Rodgers. Rodgers is the best QB in the NFL, but all QBs struggle from their back. They have to actually sack him and most likely strip the ball a time or two. This is the classic strength vs weakness – the Bengals strength is their DL and the Packers weakness (biggest weakness) is their OL. So, the Bengals should be able to get to Rodgers, they just need to make the most of their time in his backfield.
Call me crazy, but I believe the Bengals match up well against the Packers. They can stop the run, they can get to the QB, they can run, they can put up points and they have a defense good enough to slow Rodgers a little (emphasis on a little). Rodgers will do what Rodgers does (put up a lot of points), but, I believe the Bengals are more balanced and have a big advantage in every other aspect of the game. It is the Bengals balance and ability to score with Rodgers that makes the difference.
One thing is for sure, for the Bengals to win, they will have to put up a lot of points (the point total of the last 7 opponents to beat the Packers – 30, 14 (at Seattle), 30, 38, 37, 45 and 34) and I believe with this Bengals offense against this GB defense, they can do just that. I look for the Bengals to win an exciting high scoring game.
Bengals 42, Packers 38