The Bengals are getting ready to face Hue Jackson and the Cleveland Browns. Both teams are running similar offenses. Here are 3 keys to a Cincinnati win.
It’s that time again. The Battle of Ohio is coming to Paul Brown Stadium. This time, Hue Jackson will be calling the shots for the Browns. After a major letdown against the Patriots, the Bengals will be trying to turn things around. A victory against the winless Dawgs could possibly right the ship and take some heat off Marvin Lewis.
Although the Bengals are favored to win ( as of Friday the spread was 9.5 points), the battle isn’t a gimmie. Jackson will try to get his team on track against his former team. The Bengals will have to be ready. Hue knows the offense and will be ready to help Browns defensive coordinator Ray Horton formulate a decent game plan. Here are three major keys the Bengals could use to get a win over the Browns.
Get In Kessler’s Head
Cleveland started the year with visions of RGIII dancing in their heads. Since the start of the season, Griffin has been put on the shelf and rookie Cody Kessler is the man. For the most part, Kessler has been a decent fill-in for Jackson’s scheme.
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In Week 6, Kessler almost led a last minute Browns comeback. The rookie signal-caller tossed the football for 336 yards and two TDs. He’s also making good decisions with the ball. With only one interception in his four starts, Cody seems to be doing well in Jackson’s system. His passer rating is a cool 93.8
The Bengals’ D needs to get in his face and stay in his head. Against the Patriots, the Bengals had Tom Brady flinching. In order to control Jackson’s timing passes, Paul Guenther will need to dial up the blitz. Cincinnati is tied for 13th in the league with 13 sacks. To make Kessler have happy feet, the front four will have to create more pressure.
The Return Of Eifert
A little birdie said Tyler Eifert was officially listed as “questionable” for the Bengals-Browns game. If that bit of information is true, fans could get their first glimpse of Gronk 2.0 Sunday. Eifert has been rehabbing after ankle surgery and nursing a recent back injury. His return could mean huge things.
Getting Eifert to run the seam routes and do some damage downfield could do wonders for the stagnant Bengals offense.
Coach Lewis was noncommittal. He’s resolved to make starting Eifert a game day situation. But Tyler is confident about his condition and ability to start.
"“Physically, I feel good, and mentally, I’ve been with this offense long enough to where I didn’t just forget the plays not practicing. Obviously, there are some things I need to brush up on…but I feel good about where I’m at.”"
Andy Dalton to Eifert would make things come alive in the Jungle.
Find The Running Game
Since the resurgence of the Bengals’ passing attack, the running game has gone dormant. Amazingly, the Bengals are sitting at No.11 in the league in offense. But, most of that is due to Dalton and the passing attack. The ground game is generating only 89.8 yards a game. An anemic effort like that isn’t going to accomplish much.
The big boys will need to get their blocking scheme tighter. Week 7 should be long enough to gel and start playing with power.
If Ken Zampese starts the game with power running, that should set the tone.