Nov 23, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis prior to the game against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
Week 13 should look like a cake walk for the Cincinnati Bengals, if you only pay attention to the records of both teams, but if you ask the Steelers or the Redskins they will tell you the opposite. The Cincinnati Bengals will head to Tamp Bay to face the 2-9 Buccaneers. They will take on former Bengals Michael Johnson and Anthony Collins, who both headed to Tampa in free agency, for the first time since their departure.
This game is much more than just two players facing their former team, it is about keeping at the top of the AFC North, in hopes that at least one falls off this week to a loss. The Bengals hold a slim lead in the division because of the tie against the Carolina Panthers.
Cincinnati Bengals Keys to the Game:
The Bengals offense will have to keep the pedal on full throttle and get ahead early, like they have the past two week. Andy Dalton must remain sharp and will have to limit mistakes. If the Bengals defense can put together a performance like they did against the Saints and Texans, this game should get out of hand quick and that is what Cincinnati ultimately needs this week. Balanced offense will be a key in this game against their rushing attack.
The Defense is the same way. They can’t forget what they have done over the past two weeks. It will be key to stopping an offense that has shown signs of life the last two week against the Washington Redskins and Chicago Bears. Tampa Bay can’t get shorts and if they due, holding to field goals or forcing mistakes will be another big key to stopping an upset.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Keys to the Game:
Tampa Bay has a few young and talented players. Mike Evans could be a key to the Tampa Bay offense getting any type of rhythm and getting the ball down the field. Josh McCown loves to look for him early and often when he can and Vincent Jackson has always been a threat.
Tampa Bay’s defense will rely heavily on getting pressure to the quarterback. Jacquies Smith will be looking to get his fourth sack in three games and Gerald McCoy will be looking for third in just as many game. If you can establish a balanced offense that will respect both run and pass, it may limit the Buccaneers early in their pass rush and pressure attempts.
The Bengals are coming off two big wins on the road and a third would almost erase the terrible October they had. 3-0 on the road must be the goal and Tampa Bay is a very winnable game for the Cincinnati Bengals. Bengals wins 35-14