Bengals versus Patriots: Five Bengals to Watch

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Emmanuel Lamur’s potential impact on defense puts him at number four on our Bengals versus Patriots Watch List. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Emmanuel Lamur

Lamur’s presence on Sunday will be vital regardless of what his role is.  If Vontaze Burfict misses another week of action, then Lamur would be asked to fill his “all-around role.”  But if Burfict plays, then Lamur will likely be given the task of covering Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski.   The Bengals have struggled with dominant tight ends in the past and that trend has continued this year.  Although it’s only a small sample size in 2014, the Bengals allowed Dennis Pitta to be effective in Week One; Pitta finished with 10 catches (14 targets) for 83 yards.  While playing within the Titans’ anemic offense, Delanie Walker still managed four catches (seven targets) and 54 yards.  10+ yards/catch isn’t bad, but the Bengals can do better; of note, tight end targets often limit big plays, so it’s a “double-edged sword” situation.  The Bengals get the opportunity to address those concerns on the national stage this week.

Rob Gronkowski is will undoubtedly be an offensive target for Tom Brady when the Bengals versus Patriots action starts on Sunday. Mandatory Credit: Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

Emmanuel Lamur possesses a great mixture of size, strength, and speed for a linebacker.  His ball skills should be above average as he was a safety for part of his collegiate career.  His skill-set makes for an interesting matchup against one of the NFL’s elite tight ends.

Rob Gronkowski is one of very few Patriot receiving weapons (along with Julian Edelman), so Tom Brady will naturally focus on his “fail-safe” tight end when under pressure and when  in the redzone.  If he is allowed to get open, the Gronkowski could really hurt the Bengals.

Coaches and fans alike have been waiting for a chance to see what Lamur can do against these elite tight ends.  So far this year, Lamur has been kept from that responsibility as Vontaze Burfict has been in-and-out of the lineup due to his concussion issues.  But if Burfict is healthy and able to return, this week may finally give everyone of glimpse of whether or not Lamur can help the Bengals get over their tight end woes.