The Cincinnati Bengals are road favorites against the New Orleans Saints this Sunday. If they want to avoid being upset by the home dogs, the Bengals are going to have to excel in a few critical areas. The keys to victory for Cincinnati lie in the offensive and defensive run games and the Bengals’ offensive line.
The Bengals must stop the Saints’ run attack and taking it further, they must be able to contain Taysom Hill and Alvin Kamara. Hill and Kamara combined for 32 carries, 215 yards, and three touchdowns in their matchup against the Seattle Seahawks.
Three of the Saints’ top receivers, Michael Thomas, Jarvis Landry, and Chris Olave, are on the injury list and are questionable for Sunday’s game. Thomas and Landry did not play last week against the Seahawks. Olave did but suffered a concussion during the game.
If the Saints are without their top wideouts, they will look to lean on the run game led by Kamara and Hill.
The fact that the Bengals’ secondary has played so well is that the Saints will try to run the ball. Cincinnati ranks 10th in yards per carry. Impressive, but they are third in the NFL in passing completion percentage and seventh in yards per passing attempt.
With their receiving core not operating at 100%, look for the Saints to run with Hill and Kamara. The Bengals must be ready for it while also playing up to the level their secondary has shown thus far this year.