Aug 24, 2014; Glendale, AZ, USA; Cincinnati Bengals center Mike Pollak (76) prepares to snap the ball against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
The Cincinnati Bengals and Arizona Cardinals will square off on Sunday Night Football. What will the Bengals need to do to come out victorious?
The Cincinnati Bengals will look to return to the win column on Sunday night against their former quarterback, Carson Palmer, and his Arizona Cardinals. The Bengals struggled against the Houston Texans in their first loss of the season, but taking on a team which boasts the NFL’s best yardage offense and third-ranked yardage defense in Arizona will be a whole new ball game.
So what do the Bengals need to do to secure the win? Without further ado, here are three keys to victory for the Cincinnati Bengals.
Key to the Game #1: Win the turnover battle.
The Cincinnati Bengals have been one of the most consistent teams in the NFL throughout the 2015 season, winning the turnover battle on an almost weekly basis. Cincinnati has a plus-three turnover differential through nine games after losing the turnover battle in Houston, two-to-one. Cincinnati cannot afford to turn the ball over; the Cardinals’ offense is explosive and will pick the Bengals’ defense apart with a short field.
Winning the turnover battle is a winning formula against the Cardinals. The St. Louis Rams won the turnover battle, winning three-to-zero, in their victory over the Cardinals, and the Steelers won the turnover battle by the same differential in their victory over Arizona. Reggie Nelson and the rest of the Bengals’ secondary must solve Palmer early to get good jumps on routes and break up plays.
The Bengals will need to do a better job of holding on the ball on offense, as well. A.J. Green‘s fumble in Houston sealed the deal for the Texans; the Bengals aren’t equipped to deal with critical turnovers on offense. It’s easier said than done, but if the Bengals can hold onto the ball, force turnovers and win the battle of field position, Cincinnati should be able to come out on top.
Next: Key #2