The Bengals welcome Detroit to their house and look to extend their two game division lead over Pittsburgh and Baltimore with a win Sunday.
With Matthew Staffords bum non-throwing shoulder, Calvin Johnson's dinged up knee, and linebacker Ernie Sims hamstring woes, Thanksgiving could not have come at a better time for Detroit.
On Sunday the Lions will not have played a football game for 10 days, a much needed break for a beat up bad team. But, things don't get any easier for the Thunder Cats on Sunday, when they get to visit a really good Cincinnati team getting healthier themselves.
Matthew Stafford after throwing 4 picks against Green Bay last week, is facing another good defense, but, is hoping for better results this time weekend. Don't hold your breath.
The Bengals have a tough pass defense, led by cornerbacks Leon Hall and Johnathan Joseph, who routinely shut down opposing teams top wideouts. Cincinnati is ranked 16th against the pass giving up 210 yards a game, but that number doesn't tell the whole story.
The Bengals are also 3rd against the run, giving up under 90 yards a game, all but shutting opposing runningbacks down, forcing teams to exclusivily turn to the passing game, inflating their pass defense numbers, a more telling number is 12, that's how many passing touchdowns the Bengals defense has given up all year. Conversely, Detroit has given up 27!
If Calvin Johnson's knee isn't feeling any better, and he looks as bad as he did on Thanksgiving, it's going to be a long day for Stafford and crew. Don't expect Kevin Smith to have a big game either, again the Bengals run defense is tough, allowing only 81 yards a game, even more impressive, they've only allowed 5 rushing touchdowns all year.
Chad Ochocinco is looking to try and get more involved in the game this week, saying to the press that he hopes they throw it 50 times this week.
“Now next week, we’ve got the Detroit Lions. Things need to change,” “Now the roles need to be reversed. I’m speaking on behalf of myself and the receiving corps – we would like to throw
the ball 50 times next week.”
I'm guessing Ochocinco isn't really intimidated by the Detroit secondary. He is more than likely going to be disappointed however, Cincinnati has become more than anything a run first team and unfortunately for the Lions, Cedric Benson will be back and will start this game.
Against a bad Detroit run defense, ranked last in the league, the Bengals are going to look to hold the ball as much as possible and control the game with Cedric Benson and Larry Johnson on the ground.
Bernard Scott has a turf toe injury so its unlikely that he will play in this game, so look for Benson to get his usual 20 carries and Larry Johnson to be heavily involved for a second straight week.
It will be interesting to see how Benson and Johnson are used together Sunday, whether it will be a timeshare, a change of pace type thing, or will they be alternating series? Coach Marvin Lewis hasn't shined much light on the situation so we will have to wait and see.
What is clear is Detroit's defense gives up alot of big plays and alot of points, over 30 a game, and even though Carson Palmer won't be throwing the ball 50 times, I expect Ochocinco will still have a big day, there will be enough scoring to go around in this one.
Prediction Cincinnati 34 Detroit 13
About the Author
Written by Danny Shapiro
Danny Shapiro is 26 years old, married and a father to 2 boys, who he hopes one day to play MLB and support him and his wife in their old age. Danny's second love, mistress even, is sports and Danny is living his dream of being a sports writer right now, thanks to Prosportsblogging.com.