Cincinnati Bengals 3 Takeaways: Week 17 vs. Ravens

matthewwillson
Jan 3, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback AJ McCarron (5) reacts to throwing a pass for a touchdown in the first half against the Baltimore Ravens at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 3, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback AJ McCarron (5) reacts to throwing a pass for a touchdown in the first half against the Baltimore Ravens at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports /
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Jan 3, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert (85) catches a pass for a touchdown between Baltimore Ravens free safety Kendrick Lewis (23) and cornerback Jimmy Smith (22) in the first half at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 3, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert (85) catches a pass for a touchdown between Baltimore Ravens free safety Kendrick Lewis (23) and cornerback Jimmy Smith (22) in the first half at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports /

Takeaway #2: Tyler Eifert Looks Good

Anybody who has followed the Bengals for any length of time knows how valuable Eifert is to this team. He is a big part of the passing game but also has played an under-rated role in run blocking for Giovani Bernard and Jeremy Hill. The Bengals really proved how valuable he would have been in the second half of the Bengals overtime loss to the Broncos, when he was out for his second consecutive game under the concussion protocol.

Eifert had a big game yesterday, including a 22-yard touchdown catch. In Fact, he led all receivers yesterday with four receptions and 51 yards, including that touchdown. As I said, his pass blocking is under-rated. He provided a solid edge block on Jeremy Hill’s touchdown run, when he blocked Courtney Upshaw and helped keep a left side hole open for a breakout run.

Tyler Eifert’s return is a timely one and will play a huge impact in the wild card game, no matter who is under center at quarterback. As one of the Bengals top receiving option and tied for the second most touchdowns in the NFL with 13, He could be the difference in finally breaking the playoff drought, something he missed last season with a torn brachialis. Not to mention, the Steelers have struggled with strong tight ends this season.

Next: Thunder and Lightning

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