Cincinnati Bengals: 4 Keys to Victory vs San Francisco 49ers
The Cincinnati Bengals are preparing for their matchup vs the San Francisco 49ers. After a close loss last week, the Bengals look to rebound against a susceptible Niners team.
After studying film from the Niners Week 1 victory, I have 5 keys to victory for the Cincinnati Bengals.
4. Establish the run early
The Niners defensive line is improved after adding pass rushers Nick Bosa & Dee Ford. Dalton was sacked 5 times vs the Seahawks defense. The Buccanneers found success on the ground with Ronald Jones (13 car 75 yards).
Assuming that Joe Mixon is cleared to play, featuring him early and often should be a priority. A heavy dose on the ground can keep the pass rush at bay, in addition to manageable third downs. This approach could open the field to play-action passes and the creativity of Zac Taylor. Establishing a balanced offensive attack will force the defense to stay honest in their counter-attacks.
3. Be physical on defense
Jimmy Garoppolo doesn’t seem to be 100% confident in his surgically repaired knee. Lou Anarumo should be aggressive with his play-calling, mixing press-man coverage & blitz packages to pressure Jimmy G. Allowing their corners to reroute the receivers will ensure Garoppolo holds onto the football longer than desired.
Matt Breida is the starting running back and shutting him down will be pivotal. The Cincinnati Bengals defense must eliminate the ground attack and force the 49ers offense to become one dimensional. The Niners quarterback tends to test coverages and throw vulnerable passes for the defense to take advantage of. Set the tone early and make it last all four quarters.
2. Don’t be afraid to test their defense
Last week Jameis Winston led two scoring drives if it weren’t for offensive holding penalties. They were able to attack the defense on all three levels with the passing game. Against the Niner’s zone-based defense, pairing the quick passing game with well-timed shot plays is a recommended gameplan.
Richard Sherman deserves to be amongst the top tier corners in the league, but he isn’t invincible. Throw multiple receivers to his side of the field but pick your battles whenever you decide to test him. Route combinations and alignments will play a pivotal role in determining the success of the offense.
1. Neutralize George Kittle
The Niner’s best offensive weapon is star tight end, George Kittle. After a solid outing in week one, expect Kyle Shanahan to feature Kittle in week two. Deploying a possibly high-low bracket styled coverage can deter Jimmy G from targeting the explosive tight end.
Jessie Bates & Shawn Williams could be used in man coverage scenarios against the former Iowa Hawkeye. Do not hesitate to get physical at the LOS with Kittle as instructed above with their receivers. How Kittle is defended will determine the 49ers offensive success rate and if they’ll win this matchup. Force this Niners offense to work for every yard for all four quarters. They’ll have to earn this win because he cannot be given to them.