Cincinnati Bengals vs. Denver Broncos
Monday – December 28 – 7:30 pm CT
Sports Authority Field at Mile High – Denver, Colorado
Records Before the Game
Cincinnati Bengals (11-3, 6-1 away)
Denver Broncos (10-4, 4-2 home)
Over the past three weeks Denver has looked like a bunch of lost kids playing sandlot football. What happened to the team that beat New England, Green Bay and Kansas City? At first we thought Peyton Manning was the reason why the offense struggled. In comes Brock Osweiler and he looked good for two games and now the O-line proved they can’t block for him either. The running game looked good for a few games and that went out the window as well. So how can they Broncos get back on track against the Bengals. Allow me to break it down for you.
Brock Osweiler has to be more aggressive out of the pocket. He’s been a sitting duck when protection has broke down. He has to move his feet. He’s 6′ 8″ and hard to bring down, so we think. Taking sacks and folding up when pressure collapses the pocket… he’s beginning to look a lot like Peyton Manning. Denver is ranked 23rd in total offense and the Bengals are ranked 11th on defense. Denver averages 342.5 yards a game while scoring 22 points. The offense has to establish the run … PERIOD! A running game with Ronnie Hillman and C.J. Anderson will keep the defense honest. Anytime a defense sends a pass rush, 89% percent of the time the offensive line will break down.
Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton is injured so AJ McCarron starts under center this week. The Broncos defense will feast on him Monday night. Last week he struggled against the 49ers and this week should be more of the same. I like A. J. McCarron but the corners of the Broncos will shut down A. J. Green and company. Aqib Talib, Chris Harris and Danny Trevathan should keep the Bengals in check. With seven interceptions between them, I see the defensive backs getting more picks before this one is over. Von Miller and Malik Jackson should get a sack a piece. The defense leads the NFL in every category but seems lost over the past few weeks. They will get back on track in this one.
I see the Broncos coming back to life in this one. Without Andy Dalton the Bengals are lost on offense. Giovani Bernard has to carry the offensive load this week. He can’t save them against this defense. The Broncos will cover the spread (-3.5) this week. Final score: Broncos 28 – Bengals 17