Week 1 is in the books and it’s time to look towards Week 2. Let’s discuss some things Bengals fans are hoping to see as the 49ers come to town for a cross conference matchup.
For the first time in a long time, there is actually some buzz in Cincinnati for the Bengals. First year head coach Zac Taylor took his squad into Seattle, and even though they were unable to come out with a win, they played a much better game than was anticipated. Let’s talk about what fans want to see as the Bengals prepare to face the 49ers in their home debut for 2019.
More John Ross
John Ross had the best game of his career last Sunday. Of course, no one can really expect him to push 200 receiving yards every game, but if Ross is going to finally live up to expectations, he will need to make big plays consistently.
After last week, there is no reason to believe he can’t. If the speedster can cut down on mental mistakes like drops, and keep providing a few explosive plays, that will go long way in helping this offense become one of the more potent in the league, not only in Sunday’s game but throughout the entire season.
A ground game
Speaking of the offense, Cincinnati has to find a way to get the running game going. They only ran for 34 yards in Seattle. It is still unclear if Joe Mixon will be good to go on Sunday. If he isn’t, Giovani Bernard should be more than capable of providing some firepower to the run game.
Last week, the offensive play calling did a good job making up for the lack of a ground threat by still managing to find success through the air. However, in order for this offense to reach full potential, they must be able to move the ball on the ground. That will make everything easier.
This offense is built heavily around play action. In order to maximize this style of play, you need to have at least a respectable run game to force the defense to pull its safeties up and create more one on one coverage for receivers. If the Bengals can run the ball just well enough to command more attention from the back end of the defense, it should open up more opportunities for the receivers down the field.
The defense surprised a lot of people in Seattle. The defensive line looked more than formidable. if the pass rush can keep up the pressure, it could be a long day for Jimmy Garoppolo. The linebacker unit needs to continue to not be a liability and the secondary needs to know their assignments.
Costly and unnecessary penalties also need to get cleaned up. First year defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo has been impressive with his packages as well as his usage of players and putting them in a position to be successful. This needs to continue in order to get a win against San Francisco. Speaking of…..
The Bengals need a win!!!
Zac Taylor has done a good job so far by giving fans hope for the future of the franchise. However, it could all go down hill quickly if the Bengals don’t pick up a win on Sunday. This is a winnable game for a team that really needs it to build on whatever momentum they got last week.
No one expected Cincinnati to compete in Week 1. Just being as competitive as they were was enough to open up some eyes. The fans are hungry for some real hope, something to believe in as far as this franchise is concerned. A win this Sunday could go a long way towards giving this fan base that something to believe in.