The Cincinnati Bengals injuries on the offensive and defensive lines are something to keep an eye on because the key in any game, obviously, is running the ball and stopping the run. The biggest injury is the one keeping Kevin Huber off the field. How is new punter Shawn Powell going to do? He hasn’t kicked in a game in more than two months. That’s one of the biggest keys. Everyone around the team seems pretty high on him, so watch for that during the game
The Vikings are hot on offense and they’ve got some really good receivers. Rookie Cordarrelle Patterson is going to be the one to watch, fast and talented player and Adrian Peterson is going to play, so the tackling is the key in this game for the defense, if you can’t take AP down he’ll run for 200 yards.
But for some reason this Bengals defense has been able to get it done even with Leon Hall and Geno Atkins down. They’ve lost their two best players and here they are competing against some really strong offenses. I’m expecting left end Carlos Dunlp and Linebacker James Harrison(concussions) to play and they should be fine.
The Vikings are better than their record, especially on defense. They’re solid for the most part. They’ve given up their yards, they’ve given up their points just like last week. Even though they won the game they still gave up 30 points to the Eagles. That’s probably been the key. Those big plays haven’t gone their way. To the Bengals’ credit they’ve been a big play offense at times this year. They’ll really need some of that in this game and I think that’s where you’ll see running back Giovani Bernard get going and where a guy like wide receiver Mohamed Sanu can have a break-out game.
With whom the Bengals have played the last few weeks, like Ike Taylor and Joe Haden, Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green has had his challenges. He actually performed pretty decently last week against Taylor and he’ll be able to take some of that going into this week and the challenge shouldn’t be as great, so expect Green to have a good day hopefully.
I thought Andy Dalton played really well last week, given the conditions. The conditions were tough to manage. They didn’t call too many deep passes so he didn’t have to do a lot of that. But the short yardage game, he was dinking and diming. But they dropped a lot of passes. As long as guys catch the ball, Andy is going to be OK. His confidence now seems to be pretty solid. They’ve got to get that run going, too. They couldn’t get it going last week because they were down so much. If they can get out to a big lead, they get that run game going, Andy will be just fine.
PREDICTION: Bengals 26, Vikings 22: I expect this game to go down right to the wire, conditions are going to be rough out there, forecast are expecting heavy rain and possible thunderstorms. So, the running the game will be the key to this game get Benny and Gio back to like they were two weeks ago against the Indianapolis Colts. Stop AP, pressure Cassel, no BIG plays, TACKLE, no turnovers, “Good Andy”. And with the team at home, I obviously give the Bengals the edge.