The Cincinnati Bengals will be looking to derail the NFL’s top ranked offense today when they meet the Buffalo Bills at Paul Brown Stadium. Ultimately, however, it will be the Bengals’ offense that will win the game.
Buffalo will score some points today. They’ve got tremendous weapons at all the skill positions and are led by a cerebral quarterback who doesn’t make many mistakes, as Bengals 101 outlined on Friday. The Bills will find more resistance from the Bengals than from any defense they’ve encountered so far, however.
Mike Zimmer’s young unit continues to improve each week. They’ve shown an ability to control an opponent’s running game while also putting pressure on the quarterback. The Bengals won’t stop Buffalo’s offense, but it will slow them down enough to give the Bengal’s offense a chance.
Andy Dalton has been learning on the job thus far. Last week against San Francisco, the Niners perplexed the rookie in what was his worst outing so far. This Buffalo defense will be the least worrisome of those Dalton has encountered thus far, especially with regard to rushing the passer.
There’s a reason why Buffalo has had to come back from double digit deficits the past two weeks: they’ve gotten very little pressure on the quarterback, allowing Jason Campbell and Tom Brady ample time to pick apart the Bills secondary.
The Bills have been aggressive, however, and have been able to get their hands on some deflections that have resulted in turnovers. The major challenge for Dalton this week will be to avoid the big mistake, something he’s been able to do well thus far.
With Jerome Simpson and Cedric Benson starting this week without any of the commotion (for now) that distracted them the week before, the balance should return to the Bengals attack. Simpson’s troubles did provide a valuable opportunity though for Dalton to get comfortable with Andre Caldwell. Look for a renewed effort at targeting Jermaine Gresham as well, who has had to deal with two of the NFL’s better linebacking corps the past two weeks. AJ Green should also be better this week after being limited by a sore foot last week.
It should be an entertaining game down on the river this afternoon, with lots of points going up on the PBS scoreboard. In the end, it will show Bengals 34, Bills 31.
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