Bengals: 3 sneaky threats to worry about vs. Bears in Week 2
By Riley Thomas
The Cincinnati Bengals will battle with the Chicago Bears in Week 2 of the NFL season. While Cincinnati has some of its own advantages over Chicago, there are some disadvantages to worry about.
Some clear matchups will be a challenge for the Bengals, like slowing down the premier edge rusher Khalil Mack. Also, the motor of the Bears’ offense looks to be David Montgomery, Cincinnati’s run defense will need another big performance. Allen Robinson has developed into one of the NFL’s elite wide receivers, he will be a challenge with the starting cornerback Trae Waynes out.
These are the majority of the matchups most are talking about heading into the Bengals versus Bears game. However, there are some sneaky threats to worry about in Week 2.
1. Akiem Hicks and Eddie Goldman could create problems for Cincinnati’s starting center Trey Hopkins
The Bengals’ starting center Trey Hopkins is coming off his miraculous recovery from a torn ACL, he’s only about eight months removed from the major knee injury. Hopkins showed he was rusty against the Vikings. He was easily the worst starting offensive lineman for Cincinnati, with a PFF grade of 36.3.
To be fair, Hopkins is coming off a quick turnaround on an ACL tear and had a challenge against Minnesota’s Michael Pierce and Dalvin Tomlinson. Hopkins has an even tougher task this week going against Chicago’s Akiem Hicks and Eddie Goldman.
Hicks has been one of the best interior defensive linemen in the league for several seasons. Hicks’ play has dropped some in recent years, but he still wreaks havoc at times. Goldman is a good nose tackle that could also cause problems and is currently listed as limited in the Bears’ injury report, so his status for Week 2 is unclear.
If Goldman is able to play, Chicago will have their defensive tackle duo that has been formidable for years. The Bears are aware Hopkins struggled last week and they will target him. Whether it be the Bears lining Hicks or Goldman over center or sending the speedy linebacker Roquan Smith on a blitz up the middle, Hopkins will be challenged this week.