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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / NFL News / Ty’s Take: Bengals vs Falcons: Preview and Prediction!

Ty’s Take: Bengals vs Falcons: Preview and Prediction!

Publish Date: 10/22/2022
Fact checked by: Mike Goodpaster

The Cincinnati Bengals are back in the mix as we head into week seven. Beating New Orleans on the road 30-26 brings them to a 3-3 record. The Stripes trailed most of that game until the end of the fourth quarter when the super duo of Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase connected, giving them the lead and, eventually, the win. This victory ties them with the Ravens, who, with their loss against the Giants, have the same 3-3 record. Check out the top football betting sites for betting on the NFL.

The Atlanta Falcons are coming to Payco Stadium on Sunday and mirror the Bengals with a 3-3 record. They also come off a win, defeating the San Francisco 49ers 28-14. Atlanta will look to improve their record, but facing a Bengals team starting to find its rhythm could be too much for this Falcons team. As they will soon learn, playing in the Jungle to a packed house of fans chanting Who Dey is never easy.

All stats courtesy of ESPN

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The Bengals’ offense is finding its groove.

Joe Burrow had his best game of the season last week, throwing for 300 yards, three touchdowns, and scoring a touchdown of his own. Bengals head coach Zac Taylor and staff have tried a few things out this year but have decided that Burrow works best out of the shotgun. His ability to evaluate the defense and take advantage of mismatches makes Burrow so dangerous out of the gun, allowing him to spread the ball to all his playmakers while making it hard for the defenses to adjust.

The Falcon’s secondary is nothing to write home about, so look for Bengals receivers Tee Higgins and Ja’Marr Chase to make a few impacts plays in this game. The matchup to watch will be Chase and Falcon’s cornerback, A.J. Terrell. They played each other in college, where Chase got the best of him. Terrell will be looking to seek revenge; however, he has not been tackling well lately, and we all know how Chase’s skills are when it comes to breaking tackles and scoring touchdowns. Chase leads the league in third-down receptions and should excel against this secondary.

Then there is Higgins, who is still dealing with an ankle injury but will match up with second-year cornerback Darren Hall. If Higgins is left alone one-on-one with Hall, this could be a nightmare matchup for the Falcons, allowing Burrow to take advantage of and giving Higgins another big game. Atlanta’s defense is dead last when it comes to passing yards allowed, which should enable Burrow the opportunity for an enormous passing day.

Using cover two to slow down the Bengal’s offenseΒ 

The Bengals are figuring out the best combinations to beat cover two high looks. Once again, the offense must remain patient, relying on short passes and solid runs to move the chains. Talented slot receiver Tyler Boyd had six catches for 66 yards in the Saints game and will be needed to keep the chains moving this week. He does a fantastic job getting behind the linebackers while finding the soft spot in the defense.

Burrow must also use his tight end, Hayden Hurst, in short-yardage gains. Hurst spent the previous two years with the Falcons before signing a one-year contract with the Bengals. Always playing with a lot of emotion, Hurst will be up for this game.

Atlanta allows almost six yards a carry; when teams like the Bengals run out of the shotgun, this could translate into running back Joe Mixon having a steady day for the stripes. Mixon will have fewer carries with this scheme but should be more efficient with his runs and catch more balls out of the backfield.

The offensive line of the Bengals must protect

Each week the Bengal’s offensive line has grown as a unit and has become more efficient when keeping Burrow upright. One weakness still is the ability to pick up blitzes, so look for this to be a focus of attention this week. The Falcons may use linebackers Troy Anderson and Rahsaan Evans to blitz, so keeping them out of the backfield will be a priority. The good news is that with only eight sacks, the Falcons are tied for last place with sacks in the league and 31st with quarterback pressures.

The real danger for Burrow and his offense will be the Falcon’s best consistent pass rusher defensive tackle Grady Jarrett. He can change the game if not accounted for with every snap. Atlanta likes to move him around on the line so expect him to line up against rookie Cordell Volson. Bengals captain and center Ted Karras will need to help the rookie slow down Jarrett.

The offensive line has to be dialed in and ready to go. Communication between Karras and the rest of the line will be vital to picking up blocks and keeping penalties to a minimum. The Bengals also can’t sleep on the other pass rusher, rookie Arnold Ebiketie. He dominated the San Francisco 49er’s offensive line last week and will be looking to build off his success. Going out of shotgun could be what the doctor ordered when keeping these pass rushers at bay.

The falcons’ offensive game plan: run the ball.

If you watched any of the Falcons games this season, you would know that they hang their hat on running the ball. Versatile Falcon quarterback Marcus Mariota only threw 14 passes last week and completed 13 of them. He can throw the ball but more than likely will take off and run with the ball.

Atlanta will want to limit Burrow and his high-powered offense from touching the field so expect a strong running game and a combination of Avery Williams, Caleb Huntley, and Tyler Allgeier. It is no surprise what the Bengals need to do to stop the Falcon’s running game.

Due to injury, the Bengals are without astounding D.J. Reader and backup Josh Tupou, who is excellent at stopping the run. One option would be to play Jay Tufele, who, in his first game last week, had six tackles and one tackle for loss. He could play more of a role than most Bengals fans expected when they picked him off the waiver wire from Jacksonville at the beginning of the year. Check out the top football odds.

Containing Mariota and the running game

The Bengals are no stranger to running quarterbacks like Mariota, so keeping him from having a breakout run must be at the top of the list. Sack specialist Trey Hendrickson must get to Mariota or draw double teams so that B.J.Hill, Sam Hubbard, and Joseph Ossai make their presence known. Will Tyler Shelvin or Domenique Davis be activated to fill the middle and defend the run?

Then there’s the issue of the Bengal’s best linebacker Logan Wilson being out for this game. However, the cupboard is not empty; Germaine Pratt will call the defense with Akeem Davis-Gaither, Markas Bailey, and the possibility of Joe Bachie being activated this week to step up and fill the void of Wilson.

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Receiving targets for the FalconsΒ Β 

When the Falcons throw the ball, they look to rookie Drake London and Olamide Zaccheaus to make the catch. Unbelievable is that multi-talented tight end Kyle Pitts has played more of a blocking role this season than actually going up for the ball. Make no mistake about it; Pitts is an elite player who can score at will, so he will need to be covered on the field.

The Bengals secondary should be able to shut this group down but will need to focus more on stopping the running game.

Final thoughtsΒ 

On paper, the Bengals are a much better team and need to show it in this game. Jumping out to an early lead will be necessary, along with shutting down the Falcon’s running game. Burrow could have one of his best passing games while coming up with the win, putting the Bengals over the 5oo mark for the first time this season.

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