Week 11: Cincinnati Bengals At Kansas City Chiefs
- QuarterbackAndy Dalton had one of his best games against the Giants, and that’s very encouraging for the Bengals. However, you have to wonder where Dalton’s performance had been over the previous month. If Dalton can sustain his performance – and there’s no reason to think he can’t against the lowly Chiefs – Dalton could propel the Bengals back into the playoff picture.The Chiefs are having a miserable season and the quarterback play has been awful. Matt Cassel is supposed to be an accurate passer, but any time the Chiefs find themselves in a remotely clutch situation, he can be counted on to make a poor throw that will likely result in a turnover.
- OffenseThe Bengals have been largely disappointing over the last month, but they have one of the best offensive players in the league in A.J. Green. He is a game-changing player who has caught 58 passes for 820 yards and 9 TD receptions. Andy Hawkins has excellent speed and quickness and can take advantage of single-coverage. BenJarvus Green-Ellis is a solid between-the-tackles running back.The Chiefs have decent offensive personnel, but they have not played with any kind of continuity or consistency. Running back Jamaal Charles has explosive speed and is a threat to take it to the house if he gets free on the perimeter.. Wide receivers Dwayne Bowe is big and strong and can go downfield and get it. He has great reach and can go up and over the defensive backs to make catches.
- DefenseThe Bengals are not known for their defensive commitment, but they played with determination and efficiency in shutting down the Giants. If they can repeat that kind of performance from this point forward the Bengals will be difficult to beat. Defensive tackle Geno Atkins is a force against the interior run and he also has 7.0 sacks.The defense has not been as bad as you might think for a team that has struggled as much as the Chiefs. The pass defense has often slowed down opponents this year. Linebacker Derrick Johnson has shown his competitiveness and he is the team’s leading tackler. Fellow linebacker Justin Houston and defensive end Tamba Hali can rush the quarterback effectively.
- Special TeamsThe Bengals are very competitive with their special teams. Adam Jones has returned one punt for a touchdown and is also a threat on kickoff returns. Kevin Huber is averaging 46.9 yards on 41 punts this season.The Chiefs have been very disappointed in their special teams play. At the start of the season, they though Javier Arenas would be one of the top threats in the league at returning punts and kickoffs. However, he has not had exceeded 27 yards on any of his returns this year.
The Bengals played their best game of the year in dominating the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants. Despite that effort, it’s hard to believe the Bengals have turned their season around. The Chiefs have had few opportunities to win games, so a home game against an up-and-down Cincinnati team may lead to one of their better efforts of the year.