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The end of October could mean the start of something great in Cincinnati. For the first time in two seasons, the Bengals have the chance to win their fourth consecutive game.
The Bengals (4-2) are a hot topic around the National Football League this week as they look to continue their current win streak against the 2-4 Seattle Seahawks.
Cincy has won the last three games after a slow 1-2 start and have been able to win the close games. In fact, every game that the Bengals have played this year has been decided by 10 points or less. They are led by rookie quarterback Andy Dalton who has exceeded everyone’s expectations up to this point. Dalton has passed for 1,311 yards with seven touchdowns and has been the benefactor of the league’s top defense.
The Bengals head into hostile territory as CenturyLink Field is considered as one of the loudest places to play.
What to look for on offense:
Cincy will be without starting running back Cedric Benson who will serve a one-game suspension this week. Benson, the team’s leading rusher with 458 yards and two touchdowns, received a three-game suspension for his role in an off-season fight. He then appealed and the league reduced the penalty by two games. Look for Bernard Scott (1 TD) and Brian Leonard (7.1 yards per attempt) to share the load.
With a weakened running game, watch for wideouts A.J. Green (453 YDS, 4 TD’s) and Jerome Simpson (353 YDS) to break out this week. Seattle likes to play their safeties in the box, thus creating one-on-one match-ups on the outside.
What to look for on defense:
The Seahawks are waiting until game day to announce who will be starting at quarterback. Starter Tavaris Jackson missed last week’s game in Cleveland with a pectoral strain, but did participate in the last two days of practice this week. Uncertainty at quarterback is not a good sign for Seattle. Their 31st ranked offense will have to try to muster up a plan of attack against the league’s second ranked defense.
Cincinnati is only giving up 278.5 yards per game and hasn’t allowed more than 24 points in any contest.
Look for the experienced rotation of defensive linemen such as Carlos Dunlap and Michael Johnson to take advantage of a young Seattle offensive line. The Seahawks have had trouble scoring points in bunches and will look to possess the ball to take time off the clock. Expect a steady diet of runs from running back Marshawn Lynch who also missed last week’s game.
Also watch for number 24, Adam “Pacman” Jones, in the secondary as he returns from the PUP list.
Middle Linebacker Rey Maualuga will miss his second straight game and hopes to return next week.
Seattle leads the regular season series 9-8.
Marvin Lewis can pass Sam Wyche for most wins as Bengals head coach with 65.
WR A.J. Green leads all NFL rookie receivers with 453 receiving yards.
The Bengals are trying to go perfect in October for the first time since the 1975 club went 4-0 in an 11-3 season under Paul Brown.
Seattle head coach Pete Carroll had four Bengals at USC: Maualuga, OLB Keith Rivers, DE Frostee Rucker, and S Taylor Mays.
About the Author
Written by Derrick Blyberg
Heading into my senior year of college at Taylor University located in rural Upland, Indiana. Sport Management major, Public Relations minor. Born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. Former high school athlete. Writing experience in baseball game recaps, press releases, feature stories, and player interviews. Other work experience includes sports information and managing intramural sports. Aspiring a career in sports public and/or media relations. Follow me on twitter @DBLY4 or email me DBlyberg@gmail.com.