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Bengals vs Bills – What to Look For

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When the Bengals Run the Ball:

The Bengals are ranked 19th in the running game, but last week they finally committed to, and had success with the run game (162 yards – 4.2 ypc). With Daltons struggles this year, establishing the run game is very important had helps Dalton by putting less pressure on him. The Bills run defense has played better the past two weeks against the Ravens and Browns (57.5 ypg), however, the Ravens and Browns running games are ranked 24th and 26th respectively. This is a Bills defense that surrendered 153 ypg to the Patriots, Panthers and Jets in weeks 1-3 (ranked 14th, 7th, 11th). The good performances against poor rushing teams is not selling me on this Bills run defense suddenly being improved and therefore I expect the Bengals to establish the run, and to be successful in doing so. Look for the Bengals to try and take pressure off Dalton and neutralize Mario Williams by establishing a strong run game on Sunday.

Advantage: Bengals

When the Bengals Throw the Ball:

This is a classic average versus average matchup. The Bengals passing attack ranked 18th and the Bills pass defense is ranked 18th as well. The Bills will get back two of the better secondary players in the NFL (Stephon Gilmore and Jarius Byrd), however, neither have played all year and some rust would be expected.  Given the Bengals have AJ Green, Tyler Eifert and Jermaine Gresham and they will be matched up against either a player playing for the first time this year (Gilmore or Byrd) or an average corner back (McKelvin) or safety (Williams), I give the Bengals a big edge in this matchup. The key will be keeping Mario Williams and his 7.5 sacks off of Dalton and I believe the Bengals will accomplish this by utilizing some screens to Giovanni Bernard. I look for Dalton to snap out of his funk and throw 3 TDs this week.

Advantage: Bengals

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