The Cincinnati Bengals’ most intriguing red-zone packages for 2020

Cincinnati Bengals, Auden Tate (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)
Cincinnati Bengals, Auden Tate (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images) /
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Cincinnati Bengals
Cincinnati Bengals, Alex Erickson (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

Cincinnati Bengals’ ideal red-zone packages: Wildcat Formation

2 WR, 3 TE, 1 RB

  • Alex Erickson
  • John Ross
  • C.J. Uzomah
  • Drew Sample
  • Cethan Carter
  • Joe Mixon

Conventional wisdom suggests that when it comes to goal-line situations, teams should field a jumbo package, run the ball, and attempt to out-muscle the opposition. The Bengals should certainly prepare to field such a package but recent statistics suggest that other methods have higher success rates.

Zac Taylor could opt to run out of 11 personnel but since we’ve already discussed two packages featuring that formation, we’ll shift focus to a wildcat formation.

In most cases, Cincinnati will want Burrow on the field when it comes to crunch time. However, if the offense seems static this approach could be utilized instead. Alex Erickson will serve as the “signal-caller”, as his high school experience at quarterback will pose enough of a threat to make the defense respect his ability to pass.

Erickson can run as well and with Mixon lined up next to him, running a variation of the speed option is on the table.

Ross is the receiver of choice here because his speed will open up so much. If Taylor sends him in motion across the formation before the snap, it will draw the eyes of the safeties and linebackers who have to account for his ability to beat them to the edge on a jet sweep. This will open up the interior to make things easier on Mixon and Erickson.

All three of the tight ends on the field can block well but they also have some capability to participate in the air attack as well. Again, this causes the defense to respect the potential of a passing play.

The options are endless and that’s one of the biggest advantages of having a young, innovative coaching staff that will be able to utilize this package so well. When it gets to the later stages of the season and defensive coordinators have had a chance to key in on some of the other lineups previously mentioned, the Bengals can utilize this wildcat formation to keep the offense humming.

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