Bengals vs. Raiders: Three Matchups to Watch

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Jan 4, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle Geno Atkins (97) against the Indianapolis Colts during the 2014 AFC Wild Card playoff football game at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Geno Atkins and Carlos Dunlap vs. Raiders’ Offensive Line

The Bengals defense was noticeably soft in 2014, only sacking opposing quarterbacks 20 times all season long. Geno Atkins and Carlos Dunlap will the Bengals to watch on defense in 2015, as they have both been capable pass-rushers in their respective careers and will need to accumulate a ton of sacks this season for the defense to significantly improve.

Facing off with a weak Raiders offensive line could be just the remedy for Cincinnati’s sack woes. J’Marcus Webb will likely start at right guard while Austin Howard suits up at the right tackle position. Both of these players, Webb especially, are notably soft at their respective positions, so Atkins and Dunlap could have a field day if they play well.

Keep an eye out on Atkins and Dunlap when Cincinnati is on defense; the two defensive linemen could reap the benefits of playing a weakened offensive line early and get a sack or two each on Sunday.