When the Cincinnati Bengals take the ball against the Atlanta Falcons, the statistics show that the Bengals should have an advantage in the passing game. However, numbers do not tell the whole story.
When the Bengals are on offense, here are a couple of things to watch for.
Falcons Pass Rush vs. Bengals Pass Protection
The Bengals have had their fair share of issues regarding protecting Joe Burrow. The offense should do a better job at that against Atlanta, at least according to the statistics.
The Falcons are tied for 31st in the league with only eight sacks. This is good news for an offense that has dealt with protection issues all year.
Furthermore, when it comes to rushing the quarterback, the Falcons are 31st in pressure and dead last in QB pressure percentage at 10.6%. That is fantastic news for a Bengals team that will look to take advantage of their amazing trio of wide receivers and pass catch ting tight end. As a result, Burrow should have a bit more time in the pocket to operate on Sunday.
Furthermore, the Falcons are 10th in rushing yards allowed. Given Cincinnati’s struggle to get the ground game going, they would be wise to lean on the passing game early, get a lead, and then find ways to run the ball to finish off the game.
One of the areas where the Bengals struggled against the Saints was picking up the blitz. As a result, Atlanta could try to ramp up that part of their game. However, it has not been their modus operandi this season. The Falcons are 27th in the NFL in percentage of blitzing per dropback.
Atlanta is getting the least amount of pressure per dropback while being one of the fewest blitzing teams in the league. That will be good news to Burrow’s ears. It is also welcomed news for an offensive line still working through some things.
It will not be as easy as a walk in the park. Just because the Falcons do not get a lot of pressure on opposing quarterbacks, that does not mean they are inept. Unfortunately for the Bengals, their best pass rusher is defensive tackle Grady Jarret. He has 3.5 sacks this year, which could spell bad news for rookie Cordell Volson.
Also, after the Saints game and Demario Davis's success with getting to Burrow, Atlanta might decide to dial up the blitz more than have so far this season. The Falcons may use linebackers Troy Anderson and Rahsaan Evans in that role against the Bengals.
The statistics suggest Cincinnati should face less of a pass rush against Atlanta. However, as we know, game plans change according to what team you are facing.
If the pass rush stats hold true Sunday, Burrow and his receivers could have a big game.
Of course, in the NFL, the opposite happens just when you think you have something figured out, the opposite happens. Bet the over for Mixon's rushing yards if you are so inclined.
Bengals Passing Offense vs. Falcons Passing Defense
Cincinnati’s offense could be heating up at the perfect time when they face off against Atlanta’s passing defense. The Falcons rank 32nd in air yards surrendered. That is last in the NFL, if you were wondering. This is due in part to their lack of pass rush.
The Falcons are giving up the second most passing yards per game in the league with 281.2. They have given up the eighth most passing touchdowns with 10. Furthermore, they are giving up the second worse completion percentage to opposing offenses at 69%.
However, after all that, they are only surrendering 10.5 yards per reception which has them ranked 11th best in the NFL. This means they are keeping offenses in front of them and not giving up the big plays. On the other hand, teams have still been successful through the air.
Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase are coming off their most efficient game of the year. The offense had their highest scoring output and must be looking forward to keeping that momentum going in the right direction. If the Falcons cannot get pressure on Burrow, it could be a long afternoon for Atlanta’s defensive secondary.
The Bengals had success throwing the ball underneath and letting their playmakers make plays. Look for them to do more of the same against Atlanta.
After six games, these numbers suggest that this is what teams are and how they play. However, every team has a different game plan depending on their opponent.
Nevertheless, Sunday’s game should shape up nicely for the Bengals’ passing offense.
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