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By: Matthew Minich
5 keys to beating the Ravens.
After winning four games in a row, the Cincinnati Bengals were starting to look like Super Bowl contenders again, but an ugly loss to the Houston Texans has created doubt.
One game does not define a team. The week-to-week improvement and trajectory of the team are much more significant. Last week’s loss was not the rule but the exception, and this week, the Bengals will prove it.
True, this team did not play well last week, but they still had a chance to win the game at the end. Tyler Boyd’s drop cost them the game, but it may have made their season. When the final whistle blew, I did not see a broken team.
I didn’t see guys pointing fingers or passing blame. I saw Boyd being supported by Joe Mixon and his other teammates. That could be a galvanizing moment, and if they can pull this win off, it could be the catalyst for a major run.
These guys are on Twitter, but they don’t care what we have to say. They aren’t listening to the complaints about this player’s performance, or why didn’t they sign that free agent? Focus on the next game. Control what you can control. Go 1-0 this week. Don’t listen to the noise.
It’s Not the Different
This offense is still essentially what it was before: Mark Andrews and one receiver. It used to be Hollywood Brown. Now it’s Zay Flowers. Their game plan needs to focus on limiting these two, and although they are young in the secondary, they are absolutely capable of doing that. Gone is the threat of Lamar Jackson as the primary ball carrier, but containing him with a disciplined pass rush remains a top priority.
Odell Beckham Jr. is, of course, another threat, but that’s not where this offense is doing the most damage. If the Bengals can limit 89 and 4, they’ll be in a good position to win this game.
The Bengals have been coming out of the gates strong in recent weeks and taking an early lead. That needs to happen on Thursday, but it can’t stop there. They can’t afford to have a slip-up before halftime or a lukewarm 3rd quarter. They need to win the middle portion of the game as well. They also need to have success in the red zone and on 3rd down. These are all areas where they can win and have won in the past. It’s time to put it all together.
Be the Big Dog
This is a statement game, if ever there was one.
The Bengals have already lost to the Ravens once this season, and despite last week’s loss, Baltimore looks like the class of the league. The Bengals need to make it clear that they are still the big dogs in the AFC North. They need to make a statement that they will not go quietly into the night.
Originally posted on Cincy Jungle – All Posts