Good luck this coming sunday from a Bengals fan.
Watched the MNF games and thought you guys hung pretty well. Some of the playcalling wasn't too good. Figured you guys would appreciate a breakdown of your opponent this weekend from someone who is familiar with the team and has watched all of their games this season. Also, I would appreciate if you guys could give me a break down of your team. It will be a lot closer of a game than a lot of my fellow fans over at boards.bengals.com would like to acknowledge.
Offensive Overview: A wildly inconsistent offense that look like the real deal one second, and relapses into reliable playcalling when playing with the lead. Gives teams a chance to come back because of the conservative style of play calling (playing not to lose, instead of playing to win). A lot of this can be blamed on Marvin Lewis. The passing attack is potent with AJ green, but after that is pretty inconsistent. Cedric Benson can tear a defense up, but needs 25+ carries.
QB - Andy Dalton - Rookie QB drafted in the second round. So far this year Dalton has greatly exceeded any expectations that we had for him prior to the season, but still makes rookie mistakes, and seems to get scared and scramble out of the pocket when it isn't necessary. Has trouble consistently connecting with any of our WRs except A.J. Green.
RB - Cedric Benson - An in between the tackles runner that does better the more carries he gets. If the Rams can shut down the run game early, it will be a long game for the Bengals. Seems like he has more trouble running behind the left side of the line than the right.
WR - A.J. Green - An absolute playmaker. Have not seen him outrun many CB's this year, but at least once a game Dalton tosses it up there and Green comes down with it for a huge reception. Guy is a monster when it comes to jump balls, but our offensive coordinator doesn't get him the ball enough it seems.
WR - Jerome Simpson - Bengals 2nd WR, who like Green, is blessed with large amounts of athletic ability. Unfortunately, he is wildly inconsistent and fails to provide Dalton with a reliable target. Really depends which Jersom shows up. He will either have 1 catch for 7 yards or 6 catches for 112 yards and a TD or two. Nobody ever knows which it will be.
TE - Germaine Gresham - Also a very athletic player who makes plays on the ball, but is not utilized correctly in our offense. Has had some good TD receptions this year despite our OC not knowing how to use him. Average in run blocking.
LT - Andrew Whitworth - Easily our best lineman. Very big guys, consistently shuts down Terrell Suggs and James Harrison who we have to face twice a year. Though he has elite playing ability, he has too many stupid pre snap penalties. He is an amazing run blocker and an pretty darn good pass blocker too. But this is where the talent drops off on the Oline...
LG - Nate Livings - Easily our worst offensive lineman. While he can hold his own in run blocking (sometimes), the guys gets blown up too often and causes our QB to have to leave the pocket.
C - Kyle Cook - A serviceable starter who keeps the AFC North nose tackles in check. Probably our must underrated lineman. Makes good line calls and is so so in pass blocking. Can occasionally get taken advantage of by elite players.
RG - Mike Mcglynn - Don't know too much about the guy. He came in last week when Bobbie Williams went down last sunday for us. Had some pretty bad plays and seems like he could be a focal point of abuse for the Rams if they take advantage.
RT - Anthony Collins - Yet another serviceable player who came in a few games ago when Andre Smith went down. Better than Cook, Livings, and Mcglynn, he could still get taken advantage of by the Rams pass rush from the end position. Luckily this isn't Andys blind side.
Slot WR - Andrew Hawkins - A speedy, small, UDFA out of Toledo who has done wonders for us this year in the slot. Doesn't get enough playing time but can make a difference when he does.
Defensive Overview: Has one of the top front 7 in the league, though the secondary is VERY suspect. Lost their top CB in Leon Hall and top pass rusher in Carlos Dunlap. I promise you guys, if you do not beat us through the air, you won't beat us and here's why.
DT - Geno Atkins - A player who has recently emerged as a premier NFL DT. Can bench 500+, and penetrate into the backfield easily due to his low center of gravity (hes short). Has good leverage and is one of the biggest reasons why we are so adept at stopping the run. Has more sacks than any DT in the NFL with 7.
DT - Domata Peko - Another DT who is amazing in Run Coverage but can't rush the passer to save his life. Dances around with the lineman to much and doesn't penetrate the pocket. However, he NEVER gets pushed backwards, and strings out a lot of outside runs to the sidelines with his quick lateral ability. Peko and Atkins are the lynch pin to this front 7 ability to stop the run.
DE - Micheal Johnson - Underperforming De who has physical tools but doesn't put up many state. Decent against the run and holds contain pretty well. Nothing to worry about unless your RT is pretty bad.
DE - Robert Geathers - On slightly better than Micheal Jonhson in pass rushing, his stout run stopping ability is the only thing that keeps him relevant. Also holds contain well, and can shed a block and make a tackle on the inside as well depending on his assignment. Again, not much to worry about in pass rushing unless your LT is pretty bad.
MLB - Rey Maualuga - Hard hitting MLB who had 2 forced fumbles last week. Just now getting back to full form after an ankle injury limited his mobility. Can get lost in coverage, but since we are running more of a zone lately, shouldn't be too much of a problem. You guys are gonna have trouble if you try to run the A gaps.
OLB - Tomas Howard - Is pretty good in coverage (last week he got torn up though for some reason). Can string runs to the outside pretty well but has trouble against fast TEs. Bigger more physical TEs he usually shuts down, even if the run their routes well.
OLB - Manny Lawson/ Brandon Johnson - Both have been pretty quiet this year which isn't that bad of a thing. Not playmakers though.
CB - Adam Jones - Our best CB right now since Leon Hall went down. Athletic but relies on that too much. Can recover well from double moves, ect. He will likely be matched up against your fastest starting WR.
CB - Nate Clements - Old, slow, but can read a WR pretty well. Is prone to get burnt if he has to cover deep, but shuts down the short/intermediate routes. If Bradford keeps doing that thing where you guys playaction and Bradford bullets it right away, one of those times Clements will be standing in front of the WR.
FS - Reggie Nelson - Our best player in the secondary. Won't lay the wood too often (though I've seen it once or twice this year), hasn't been thrown deep on his side too often this year. Good leaping ability, and plays aggressively as far as jumping routes, so a double move could hurt him.
SS - Chris Crocker/Taylor Mays - Crocker is easily our worst player in coverage. Consistently gets burnt on the deep route and bites on double moves more than anyone else. Plays VERY well in the box when needed. Lately Taylor Mays has been getting snaps, and has been holding his own. Probably Crocker's heir apparent if we don't draft someone in the offseason.
K - Mike Nugent - Something like 25 of 26 on the year (I know he's only missed one). Above average kicker.
P - Kevin Huber - Kicks better in cold weather, but he is either on or off. More of a directional punter, so he won't boom them but can pin you in the 20 if he's not having an off day.
All in all I think it will be a tightly contested game, considering how well you guys played D last night and how good our defense is.
Good luck Rams fans.