The Cincinnati Bengals have a home matchup against the Seattle Seahawks this Sunday. For many fans, last Sunday's game felt like a major step in the right direction largely due to the return of the offense we are used to seeing. Joe Burrow looked more comfortable, Ja'Marr Chase looked unstoppable, and Trenton Irwin showed he could be a reliable target in this offense.
The momentum from last game is fantastic, but it has to continue into the game against Seattle. The Bengals are 2-3 and sit one game out of first place in the AFC North. That feels manageable, and we saw them win the division after a 2-3 start last year. Moving to 2-4 would be uncharted territory, and they would almost certainly fall to two games back in the division. All of this is to say they are still in must-win territory.
How do they get a win this Sunday? Their stars have to continue to play like stars, but they could certainly use some more help. Below, I highlight three players who we need to see more from in order to come out on top against the Seahawks.
3. Mike Hilton
Including Hilton on this list is not a knock on his overall performance at all. He is a captain and leader for the Bengals’ defense and has delivered solid play so far this year. He just hasn’t made the huge play yet that we are so accustomed to seeing him make. In the last two seasons, Hilton has been instrumental in stopping Derrick Henry, which did not happen this year. Fans are still waiting for that huge impact that we know he can bring.
Whether it's coming off the edge on a blitz, blowing up a WR screen, or making an interception, look for an impact play from Hilton in Week 6. He faces a tough matchup with talented rookie Jaxon Smith-Njigba in the slot.
The Seahawks boast an impressive arsenal of offensive weapons, and it would make DC Lou Anarumo's day much easier if Hilton could consistently win that matchup. The defense could use a huge game from Hilton, and it feels like he’s due.