Preventing fumbles must be on the coaching gameplan for the Bengals.
The fumbled snap in the late season game versus the Broncos last year ultimately lost the Bengals home field advantage in the 2015 playoffs. In the playoffs last year, a Jeremy Hill fumble began an epic downward spiral that became a playoff loss once again. Even this year, Tyler Boyd‘s phantom fumble against the Steelers finalized a Pittsburgh win against the Bengals.
Yes, everyone knows the Boyd fumble wasn’t really a fumble but the football did end up on the turf. The football must not end up on the turf against this Broncos defense that may end up being one of the best to ever play.
Offensive players are generally taught to finish runs for every yard they can earn. Consequently, modern defenses practice gang tackling as one or more players attempt to rip the ball out. This week, the Bengals have to value the actual possession of the ball more than they value an extra yard.
Getting down, getting out-of-bounds and securing the ball for the next play are all mantras the Bengals offense must follow against the Broncos. On the other side of the ball, the Bengals defense must find ways to shut down the Denver running game. Forcing the Broncos into a throwing contest will not end well for Denver. The Bengals can’t run away or run around the Broncos immaculate defense; they must run to them, through them and directly at them.