Cincinnati Bengals: Five Players To Watch vs. the Falcons

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Due to Tyler Eifert’s injury, Mohamed Sanu may play an even larger role on Sunday. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Mohamed Sanu and Jermaine Gresham

The Bengals will need more plays like this from their second wide receiver. Making the list for the second week in a row, his role on Sunday will become even more vital as the offense begins to adjust following Tyler Eifert’s unfortunate dislocated elbow injury.  Sanu is a strong, sure-handed receiver who is a versatile weapon for this offense.  He’ll have the space to operate as usual due to the presence of A.J. Green and will need to take advantage of the Falcons’ smaller cornerbacks by using his strength.  Sanu’s greatest impact will need to be in the red zone as Eifert was expected to be a great target for Andy Dalton when the offense found itself inside the 20.

Jermaine Gresham’s time is now.  He’s slowly fallen out of favor with the Bengals due to mental errors and untimely penalties; Gresham was tied for eighth in the league last year with ten penalties largely consisting of false starts and holding calls.  Prior to Eifert’s selection in 2013, Gresham was a favorite target of Bengals’ quarterbacks.  He has all the skills to be a dominant weapon at tight end, but he needs to correct these unforced errors if he is to have a future with this team.  With Eifert out of at least eight weeks, Gresham has an opportunity to redeem himself in this offense; he should have extra motivation as he’s in a contract year.  Sunday could be the beginning of Gresham’s redemption.  His efforts could go a long way in helping this team adjust to life without their young and promising tight end.

Accounting for Eifert’s loss will be a group effort.  With both he and Marvin Jones out for this game, Sanu and Gresham will need to increase their effectiveness on Sunday if the Bengals are to control the clock and finish drives the way they couldn’t last week against the Ravens (having settled for five field goals in the game, which may have been six had one not been blocked).  Making themselves big targets for Dalton on Sunday will help turn some of those field goals into touchdowns this weekend.