Bengals Tufele and Carter may be keys to slowing Browns rushing attack

Cincinnati Bengals
Cincinnati Bengals / Kareem Elgazzar / USA TODAY NETWORK

Well, here we go again. Or, as the French would say, this is déjà vu. The Cincinnati Bengals will take on the third-best rushing attack in the NFL in back-to-back weeks. Last week, the Atlanta Falcons were third. But they are now fourth due to a fantastic showing by Cincinnati’s defense. Jay Tufele and Zach Carter played an important role in that. Now, they look like keys to slowing an impressive Cleveland ground game.

The Browns’ offense will be more difficult to defend because they have the best running back in football in Nick Chubb, who is averaging 105.7 yards per game and leads the NFL in rushing yards with 740. Cleveland also has a better passing attack than the Falcons, adding more strain to the Bengals’ game plan. 

However, because the Bengals' secondary is playing so well, Cleveland would be wise to run against a top-15 rushing defense rather than passing against a top-10 passing defense. 

The Bengals have the players needed to stop the Browns rushing attack

There are positive signs for the Bengals if good rushing teams, such as the Browns, decide to run more than pass against Lou Anarumo’s defense. And it starts with two defensive tackles who have stepped up in the last two games. 

Jay Tufele has been a God send for the Bengals in his first two games in stripes. He followed up an impressive debut against the Saints with an equally great second game versus the Falcons. 

Rookie Zach Carter is a converted college defensive end turn defensive tackle. Initially, the thought was he would provide pressure on opposing quarterbacks from up the middle. However, Carter played extremely well defending the run against the Falcons, showing that he can be relied on in that aspect of the game. And he must continue doing so, especially with D.J. Reader still on IR. 

According to Pro Football Focus, Carter, who was playing instead of Tufele, struggled a bit leading up to the matchup against the Falcons. 

Hopefully the game against Atlanta is a jump off point for the rookie defensive lineman.  

Tufele and Carter will once again need to step up against a formidable Browns ground attack. Cleveland will try to run the ball more than pass because that is where they will feel they have the biggest advantage. Hopefully, Tufele, Carter, and the rest of the Bengals defensive line will carry over what they did against last week’s third-best rushing attack to this week’s third-best rushing attack. 

Next. Huge game by Joe Burrow couldn't have come at a more perfect time. dark

Tufele and Carter will play a critical role in slowing down Chubb and Kareem Hunt. At the beginning of the season, this was not the scenario that any of us expected or would have much confidence in, even if we did anticipate it happening. What a difference a couple of weeks can make. Hopefully, Tufele and Carter will answer the bell again, again. 

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