Cincinnati Bengals: Three Keys to a Win Over the Carolina Panthers
The Cincinnati Bengals enter Sunday’s game at the Carolina Panthers 2-0. Cincinnati is beaten up and well rested at the same time. The Bengals suffered critical injuries to two key starters in the win over the Ravens. So what can they do to get a win on the road? Let’s dive in and find out.
THREE KEYS TO A WIN
CINCINNATI BENGALS RUN GAME WITHOUT JOE MIXON
Joe Mixon had minor surgery on his knee following the win over Baltimore. The procedure was to clean out a loose body in the knee. Mixon should only miss a few weeks.
In his stead, the Cincinnati Bengals will turn to old reliable Giovani Bernard. The base offense will not change much with Bernard in the lineup. Is he the game changer that Mixon is? No. However, that doesn’t mean the attack will nose dive. Bernard is a huge threat in the passing game. Hopefully, he will be healthy enough to go. Bernard showed up as limited on the Wednesday practice report.
Tra Carson was expected to take carries as well. Unfortunately, Carson injured his hamstring in practice on Monday and placed on waivers. The team hopes to bring him back in a few weeks. In his place, the Cincinnati Bengals signed Thomas Rawls. Rawls best days were in Seattle.
I also expect rookie 4th-round pick Mark Walton to see his first time on offense. Walton has been inactive the first two weeks.
The first two games have seen the Cincinnati Bengals facing mostly immobile QBs. Andrew Luck is athletic, but his athleticism was in check because of his concern over taking a huge lick. Joe Flacco is immobile through genetics.
Immobility will not be seen on Sunday. Cam Newton is one of the most prolific quarterbacks on the ground in NFL history. The Bengals defense, led by edge rushers Carlos Dunlap and Carl Lawson, will have to keep Newton contained. If Cam is breaking containment consistently, it is going to be a long day for the Bengals.
SLOWING MCCAFFREY IN THE PASSING GAME
Covering running backs and tight ends have not been the Cincinnati Bengals strong suit in 2018 (or recent memory). Christian McCaffrey has been targeted 24 times in the passing game so far this season. That is ten more targets than any other player on their offense.
Shawn Williams, Jessie Bates, and Nick Vigil are going to have their hands full. The rest of the secondary can handle the Panthers receivers. However, McCaffrey would scare me if I were the Bengals defensive coaching staff.
What do you think the Cincinnati Bengals need to do to win against the Panthers? Let us know in the comments!
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