Cincinnati Bengals: 3 Major Keys For A Win Over The Redskins

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Oct 27, 2016; London, United Kingdom; General view of Cincinnati Bengals helmet on the Westminster Bridge at the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben clock tower and Palace of Westminster prior to game 17 of the NFL International Series against the Washington Redskins. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 27, 2016; London, United Kingdom; General view of Cincinnati Bengals helmet on the Westminster Bridge at the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben clock tower and Palace of Westminster prior to game 17 of the NFL International Series against the Washington Redskins. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /
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When the Bengals play the Redskins in London, the stakes will be high. Here’s a look at what it will take for Cincinnati to win.

Cincinnati fans will be giddy with excitement when the Bengals face Washington in London. But, the game won’t be as easy as many may think. Jay Gruden is building a competitive team and the Redskins aren’t a pushover. 

Gruden is another branch of the Marvin Lewis coaching tree. But, Sunday’s battle won’t be a time to waltz down memory lane. Both teams are trying to right the ship to get back to the playoffs. After starting the year at 3-4, the Bengals are in jeopardy of missing the postseason for the first time since 2011. The Redskins are trying to make it two years in a row. 

The offensive schemes are similar and should give fans what they want…scoring. Here’s a look at how the Bengals will have to approach this Week 8 showdown.

Confuse Gruden And The Redskins D

It may seem like a simple and lackluster plan but it needs to be done. Gruden is one of the former architects of the current Bengals system. While he was with Cincinnati, Gruden and current coordinator Ken Zampese groomed Andy Dalton.  

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Much has been said and written about the relationship between Andy and the coordinators. Last week, Dalton and Co. were able to pound the Cleveland Browns for 31 points. They did it with multiple looks on offense and an uptempo game. Week 8 will have to be more of the same. Lewis will have to make sure the Bengals come out in attack mode and stay that way.

Zampese will have to use shifts, motion, and quick snap counts to keep the Redskins D at bay. The game plan against the Browns was balanced and well executed. Sunday’s effort in London effort will have to be just as polished to get the job done. Confusing Gruden is just the first part…making it work is the clincher.

The Front Seven Have To Perform

One facet of the Bengals franchise that seemed to be relatively stable was the defense. But, with the loss of experience over the offseason, the elite feeling seems to have worn off. Yes, the coaching staff has been decimated. But, worthy coaches were brought in to fill the void. Now, it’s about the players performing up to their levels.

Solid play has to come from the linebacker position. Suddenly, the Bengals are having a tough time defending tight ends. Rob Gronkowski put up massive numbers against the D. Gruden uses a lot of crossing routes. Vontaze Burfict will have to get the corps ready for the confusion.

Jordan Reed has missed the past two games with a concussion. As of Wednesday, he was participating in the Redskins’ practices. Reed should be cleared for the London game.

At the time Reed was shelved, he was Kirk Cousins’ favorite target. The Bengals can’t afford another letdown like the New England fiasco. The play of George Iloka and Shawn Williams will have to be bumped up a notch.

Next: This Time It's Gruden

More Of The Running Game

The Bengals were reunited with an old friend last week. Their running game showed up and made things a lot easier for the offense. Jeremy Hill, Giovani Bernard, and Rex Burkhead were able to shred the Browns for 271 yards on the ground.

The Redskins are no pushovers. To get a solid win, the Bengals will need to utilize Hill and Bernard. Keeping the Washington defense gassed with a ball-control offense is definitely help Cincinnati’s cause. Setting up the ground game will help free A.J. Green and Brandon LaFell for big gainers and keep the Redskins off-balance.

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