Nov 23, 2014; Houston, TX, USA; Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green (18) runs after a catch against Houston Texans cornerback Darryl Morris (26) at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
The Cincinnati Bengals travel to Florida to take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday in what shapes up as the last clearcut “should-win” matchup of the season. The 2014 Bengals have been unpredictable, but there is no way to cast them as anything but favorites against the lowly Bucs, with defensive end Carlos Dunlap and wide receiver A.J. Green looking like possible breakout candidates.
More from Cincinnati Bengals
- Terrell Pryor Foolishly Posts Cincinnati Bengals Minicamp videos to Twitter
- AJ McCarron and Bengals: Pryor’s Release Shows QB Confidence
- Reds and Royals Series Preview
- 2015 NFL Draft: Cincinnati Bengals Prep Sheet
- Cincinnati Bengals to Sign Free Agent DE Michael Johnson
The Buccaneers are bad across the board, but their quarterback play has been especially ugly, especially when it comes to taking big hits behind the line of scrimmage. Mike Glennon and Josh McCown have suffered 32 sacks between them, which makes them an inviting target for Cincinnati pass rushers. Dunlap is the only Bengal with as many as two sacks on the season (he has 5.5), so he would be the logical beneficiary of TB’s statuesque quarterbacks come Sunday.
While it’s impossible for Green to truly have a “breakout” at this point of his superstar career, he nevertheless should get plenty of targets against a Buccaneers pass D that 16th in the NFL in pass attempts against and 22nd in passing yardage allowed. Since two mediocre showings after returning to action in Week 8, Green has returned to form the last two games, posting 127 and 121 yards. It’s not out of line to think he could do just as well, if not better, on Sunday.
The Bengals are about to enter a brutal stretch run that includes the Denver Broncos and three AFC North intra-division tilts, but they get a breather this week in Tampa Bay. If Cincinnati doesn’t stumble, there could be some fireworks.