3 Things for the Bengals to win
1. Feed the beast. Jeremy Hill took over for an injured Giovanni Bernard and never looked back carrying the Bengals into the playoffs. Hill provides a physical attitude to the Bengals offense and that’s exactly what the Bengals need to win in the black hole. At least 25 carries for Hill.
2. Get to Derek Carr. The Bengals defensive line last season did not play the way fans are accustomed to. Geno Atkins was still not 100% from his knee injury and Michael Johnson was playing for the Buccaneers. Well the Bengals got the band back together as Johnson is back, Atkins is healthy, and Carlos Dunlap is still in the fold. Get back to that ferocious pass rush and get Carr on the ground.
3. Andy Dalton can’t stink it up. Dalton struggled in the preseason and can’t carry that type of play into the regular season. The franchise paid Dalton like a franchise quarterback so Dalton needs to play that way. He gets his tight end Tyler Eifert and receiver Marvin Jones back from injuries therefore there is no need to force bad passes to A.J. Green.
3 Things for the Raiders to win
1. Play fast and physical on the defensive side of the ball. The Bengals will try to out physical you with Jeremy Hill so man up and accept the challenge. The re-vamped Raiders defense added nose tackle Dan Williams in the offseason to stabilize that run defense along with run stopping line backer Curtis Lofton. It will be up to those guys to lead the way in stopping Hill.
2. Start fast and force Andy Dalton to beat you. Get it going early on offense and don’t fall behind. The Bengals want to run the ball but if you score on offense and get a lead you can force the Bengals to be one dimensional. Therefore it’s up to Derek Carr to be crisp and avoid the early game mistake.
3. Get Amari Cooper the ball. The Raiders’ 2015 first round selection WR Amari Cooper is a special player. The route running talent he possess should not go to waste and you need to target him in this game at least 10 times. Carr lacked playmakers on the outside last season in his rookie year, this is not the case this season as Cooper is a legitimate receiver one.
What to watch for…
Khalil Mack. Here is another special young player on the Raiders roster that you need to keep an eye on in this game. Watch him bend the corner and get after Dalton in this matchup. He is a one man wrecking crew who can turn this game around single handedly.
The Front Office Says…
Strud and Juice – Cincinnati Bengals win.
Headley – Oakland Raiders win.