The Bengals are coming off a bye, and will face a stiff test against the Falcons tomorrow. Cincinnati is 2-3, and far from the football team they were last year. There has been no consistency whatsoever thus far this year. The schedule doesn’t get easier. After Atlanta, the Bengals get Miami and Pittsburgh at home, and hit the road against Indianapolis.
With the bye, coach Lewis had a lot of time to assess his team. I wonder if Lewis will get back to the winning brand of football he showed last year; take the air out of the ball and play stingy, tough defense. Thus far, Cincinnati has employed more of an aerial attack. Carson Palmer hasn’t looked all that great. He’s thrown seven touchdowns, but he’s also been picked off six times.
The thing is, against Atlanta, the aerial attack is the way to beat them. Last week, Kevin Kolb threw the ball all over the Falcons secondary. Receivers were always 5-10 yards open.
Defensively, the Bengals have struggled to get to the quarterback. They have only six team sacks, tied for second least in the league. Their best pass rusher, Antwan Odom is suspended for the next four games due to violating the league’s substance abuse policy. I must note that Odom does not have a sack so far this year.
With the suspension of Odom, maybe this opens up some playing time for Michael Johnson. Johnson is a DE/OLB hybrid. He’s a guy with solid edge speed. Johnson had a very impressive preseason, but that was preseason.
If Cincinnati can’t pressure Matt Ryan, Ryan should be able to pick the Bengals apart. Even with a good secondary. If you give a Matt Ryan a substantial amount of time to read the defense, it doesn’t matter how good your secondary is.
PREDICTION- 24-16 Atl
I don’t like the way this Bengals team is heading. Even though they come off a bye, I still like Atlanta.
About the Author
Written by Adrian Fedkiw
I currently work for the Sports Network. It's the best job ever! I am a 2010 graduate of Temple University where I majored in broadcast journalism, I LOVE SPORTS! That's why I am here. I have a vast knowledge and want to share my athletic intelligence with the world. Some people like to spend their time shooting down aliens in Halo; I like to spend my time watching sports, current and old. It's my passion! I got asked one time how I can watch a game over again when I already know the outcome. 5 minutes later, he's watching Happy Gilmore reciting all of the lines from the movie. Hypocrite! As for my favorite sports teams, I've been a lifelong Philadelphia sports fan. My favorite athlete is Allen Iverson. He didn't like practice that much, but when it came to gametime, no one let it all out on the floor like Iverson. He is absolutely beloved in the city of Brotherly Love. For college athletics, obviously I pay close attention to Temple. (Yes, football too) Even before I stepped foot on Temple's campus for the 1st time in 2005, I was a fan. Oh the good old days of John Chaney! Some other tidbits about myself, I love cheesesteaks, I hydrate myself with Welch's Grape Juice and Snapple. I love the HBO show Entourage. Also, when is Kenny Powers making his much anticipated return in Eastbound and Down!