Bengals vs. Seahawks: Crossing the Line with Keith Myers of 12th Man Rising


Oct 4, 2015; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals fans show support in the stands against the Kansas City Chiefs at Paul Brown Stadium. The Bengals won 36-21. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

We had a chance to sit talk with 12th Man Rising’s Editor, Keith Myers, about this Sunday’s match up, Seattle Seahawks at Cincinnati Bengals and what we can expect to see from the other side of the line. Here is what he had to say:

Stripe Hype: The Seahawks were expected to make some noise in the NFC West again this season. Are the expectations still the same or have they changed after a 2-2 start, especially only being one game behind from Arizona?

Keith Myers: The expectations haven’t changed. A slow start to the season was expected because of the overhaul to the offensive line. The Seahawks are on schedule still.

Arizona’s quick start also doesn’t matter to Seattle. Seattle’s schedule is front loaded, while Arizona’s is back loaded. The Seahawks need to get through this initial tough stretch and then things will ease up. Arizona will struggle to keep their pace once their competition gets tougher.

Plus, the Cardinals had a 3-game lead at one point last season. Seattle knows not to panic here.

SH: Marshawn Lynch was out against Detroit on Monday night. It seems though the Seahawks are optimistic about his return this week and how does his presence effect any game planning the Bengals are making for this week?

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KM: Lynch worked out before the game on Monday and looked really good. With another week of healing, there’s no doubt that he’s going to be out there, though he likely won’t see as many touches as he would have without the injury.

Lynch’s presence means that Cincinnati will have to prepare for a more diverse running game. Lynch is a powerful runner who breaks tackles and is often featured on inside zone plays. Rawls, the backup, is a vision/acceleration runner that is at his best on zone-stretch plays.

With both players likely to be prominently featured, the Bengals will have to prepare to stop both aspects of Seattle’s zone running attack.

SH: The NFL media has been focusing on the offensive line play and the 18 sacks recorded against Russell Wilson, how much of a concern is it to the 12th man fans and will it be a factor on Sunday against the NFL’s 6th ranked defense in sacks?

KM: It’ll be a factor every game. That unit is playing horribly right now. There’s reason to suspect that they’ll eventually turn the corner and get their act together, but we haven’t seen any signs that it’ll happen soon. This is especially true against Geno Atkins and the rest of that defense.

If anyone says it’s just an excuse and not a real issue in Seattle, I just point them to this week’s tape study. There’s some horrific vines in there that shows just how bad Seattle’s blocking has been.

Seattle lacks answers at the moment. Keeping a TE in to protect doesn’t help with that TE is Jimmy Graham. Good thing for Lynch and Wilson who have a knack for turning blocking disasters into magic.

SH: The Cincinnati Bengals offense has been recognized early this season as one of the most dangerous in the league. What is the key for Seattle’s defense to stop Andy Dalton and this Bengals offense?

KM: Hue Jackson has done such a great job with that offense. I hope Bengals fans appreciate him, because he’s likely to be a head coach somewhere next season.

Seattle’s game plan will likely be to stop the run first and force the Bengals into being one dimensional. Seattle believes that with their pass rushers and secondary that they can shut down any passing attack. The problems arise when teams are able to get the running game going and use play-action.

Slowing that Cincinnati offense down won’t be easy, but the Seahawks did a decent job of that in Green Bay before getting Kam Chancellor back. If Bad Andy Dalton shows up, it could be a very ugly game in Sunday.

SH: Russell Wilson is one of the most dangerous quarterbacks in the NFL when flushed from the pocket. How has that played into the Seahawks play calling or has it mostly been improvising by Wilson once the pocket collapses?

KM: The Seahawks have tried to move away from the read-option in order to preserve Wilson’s health, but the other offensive issues keep causing them to go back to it. He is simply too good on the edge, and the blocking is too bad for the offense to move the ball without it.

Back in 2013, the Seahawks would run a lot of deep routes knowing that if things broken down that it would allow Wilson more space to run underneath. They’ve gotten away from that over the last year, but I suspect we’ll see more of that as the season progresses.

SH: Prediction time, What is the final score and who comes out on top? 

KM: Until Seattle’s O-line shows me that they are the slightest bit competent, I cannot pick the Seahawks when they’re playing a good football team. I expect this to be a low-scoring game, with simply too many broken offensive plays for Seattle to pull out a win.

Bengals 17 – 13 Seattle

Next: Bengals Host Seahawks: Three Keys To Victory