Stanley Morgan / Markus Bailey
Stanley Morgan, Markus Bailey, and the special teams coverage units will have their hands full on Sunday. Devin Duvernay, Baltimore’s return specialist, is the best at what he does at this point in the season based on 1.25 punt and kickoff returns per team game.
Bailey and Morgan lead Cincinnati with four and three special team tackles, respectively. Hopefully, the Bengals will not be punting very often. But on the rare occasion that they do, they must contain Duvernay. Morgan and Bailey will have a big say in how well the team does that.
Once again, this is something that will hopefully go unnoticed. We should look forward to Morgan and Bailey adding to their special team totals while containing the best returner in the NFL by average. If not, we could be talking post-game about who gave up contain or did not stay in their coverage lane.
Devin Asiasi’s blocking has gone under the radar since his debut with Cincinnati. Such is life as a backup tight end. But he has been a reliable blocker in the run-and-pass games. No one is talking about his contributions, which is a good thing. The only time we speak about a tight end blocking a defensive end is when it goes badly for the offense.
The Bengals' offensive line will have their hands full with Justin Madubuike, Travis Jones, and Calais Campbell so at some point, Asiasi will likely find himself pass-blocking, one-on-one, against Odafe Oweh or Justin Houston. If that happens, his block could be the difference between a 60-yard touchdown pass to Ja’Marr Chase or a strip sack. Either would have an enormous effect on the game, yet, when executed correctly, it is something that usually goes unnoticed.
The latest update on Asiasi is that he is expected to be ok for Sunday’s game after leaving Thursday night’s game with an injury.
Let’s hope he is as healthy as he can be going into the game against the Ravens. The Bengals will need Asiasi because, at some point, he will have to make an under-the-radar type of play.