Will The Real Cincinnati Bengals Please Stand Up?

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Sep 25, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green (18) against the Denver Broncos at Paul Brown Stadium. The Broncos won 29-17. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 25, 2016; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green (18) against the Denver Broncos at Paul Brown Stadium. The Broncos won 29-17. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports /
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When the Cincinnati Bengals face off against the Dallas Cowboys, there should be a totally different feel. Two star studs will be back.

The Cincinnati Bengals will do battle with the Dallas Cowboys, in Week 5. Don’t be fooled by the fact that the Cowboys are 3-1. Sunday’s game at AT&T Stadium will be a struggle that Cincinnati must win. It will be a chance for the real Bengals to wake up and show their true colors. This will be the perfect opportunity for the team analysts predicted to stand up.

If you’re waiting for the Bengals to have that massive breakout game, this may be the week. But, there’s a good chance that depends on the attitude and passion coming from the players. Defensively, Vontaze Burfict is back in the house. In Week 4 action against the Phins, Burfict turned out to be the X-factor. He didn’t do anything spectacular. But, he was the binding force the Bengals needed. 

Gentleman Burfict displayed good manners and his brilliant football IQ. Was it just his presence on the field? That can go a few ways. When Burfict is on the field, he gets people lined up correctly. His fire is contagious. The shabby tackling and weak hits were replaced with solid performances. Yes, he brings the noise. Teammates want to execute, when he’s around. 

Paul Guenther’s D got a huge shot in the arm when Mr. B returned. In the three games No. 55 missed, the Bengals’ defense was giving up 25 points a game. Burfict’s return may have been lackluster to many fans. But, the real story is in the details. The Phins scored just seven points. That lone TD came on a busted play to Kenny Stills.

Grades Jump

With Tez back in the rotation, the Bengals defensive grade jumped from a season low of -6.41 to 13.03. How’s that for an explanation of proof?

Linebackers coach Jim Haslett explains the dynamic.

"“He’s an instinctive guy. He knows the game, he understands the scheme. I saw him do the same thing against Pittsburgh for the most part. He changes the dynamics. Everybody knows who they’re getting, what they’re getting. His teammates were excited to have him around. He’s smooth doing it. He’s effortless.”"

The kneejerk reaction would be to say the Bengals’ D is underperforming without Burfict. But, the wise man would think otherwise. The defense stands on their heads when they have the services of Burfict.

Will Clarke and Margus Hunt have stepped up. They’re no longer the quiet kids on the school bus. Carlos Dunlap and Geno Atkins will definitely start to rev things up.

Return Of The Man

Ironman should make a return to the Bengals lineup. Who’s that? None other than the man himself…Tyler Eifert. With No. 85 back in the fold, Cincinnati’s red zone offense will come back to life. During his absence, the tight end position was productive. But, the all-important red zone TD’s were surprisingly absent.

The Bengals offense isn’t dead. It just needs the same shot in the arm that the defense got. Eifert is the solution to the slowdown in point production. When dropped into Ken Zampese’s scheme, the Bengals will have instant threat power.

Cincinnati has been to the red zone 13 times, so far, this year. The trips have yielded just four touchdowns.

Next: Finally Complete

“We should have more than we have,” Zampese explained. “And we’ve put ourselves in bad situations on our own. Self-inflicted. Regardless of who we have in there, we’re better than what we’ve shown and we’ll be better as we go forward. We’ll make sure.”

With two of their star studs back, the Bengals should be able to show the nation their real stripes.

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