Bengals at Payments: Time, Methods to Watch, Dwell Stream, Key Matchups, Prediction for AFC Divisional Spherical Showdown

Only a few weeks in the past, the Buffalo Payments and Cincinnati Bengals have been set to satisfy within the largest video games of the season. An unlucky tragedy occurred when Payments security Damar Hamlin went into cardiac arrest on the sphere and the sport was by no means accomplished. Luckily, Hamlin is out of the hospital, having prevented neurological injury, and is hopefully on his technique to a full restoration.

In the meantime, the 2 groups are prepared to offer NFL followers the sport they did not get to see a couple of weeks in the past, after they meet on Sunday afternoon within the AFC divisional spherical of the NFL playoffs. Simply final 12 months, the Payments misplaced within the divisional spherical to the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs, in the most effective soccer video games in latest reminiscence. In the meantime, the Bengals beat those self same Chiefs within the AFC title recreation and in the end represented the convention within the Tremendous Bowl.

Now, the Payments and the Bengals will meet for the correct to face the winner of the Chiefs vs. Jaguars within the convention title recreation subsequent week. What’s going to it’s? We’re glad you requested. Earlier than I break down the matchup and provides a prediction, this is a have a look at how one can view the sport.

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Date: Sunday January 22 | Hour: 3 p.m. Jap time
Location: Highmark Stadium (Orchard Park, New York)
TELEVISION: CBS | Stream: Paramount+ (click on right here)
Prospects: Payments -5.5, O/U 49

featured recreation | Buffalo Payments vs. Cincinnati Bengals

When the Bengals have the ball

Over the previous few weeks, Cincinnati’s offensive line has been decimated by accidents. Proper sort out La’el Collins is out for the 12 months with a torn ACL. Proper guard Alex Cappa suffered an ankle harm in Week 18 and stays out this Sunday. Left sort out Jonah Williams suffered a knee harm final week in opposition to the Ravens and also will be out this week. Meaning the Bengals will begin Hakeem Adeniji, Max Scharping and Jackson Carman together with Ted Karras’ rookie guard Cordell Volson.

That is not an excellent state of affairs to be in in opposition to the most effective defensive fronts within the NFL, even when that entrance stays with out Von Miller. The Payments can area Greg Rousseau, Shaq Lawson, AJ Epenesa, Boogie Basham, Ed Oliver and Tim Settle, they usually consider they’ve not less than one, if not each, of DaQuan Jones and Jordan Phillips as nicely. Buffalo’s speeding price dropped from 35.3% when Miller was wholesome to simply 30.3% in his absence, in keeping with TruMedia; however final week in opposition to the Dolphins, the Payments elevated that price to 39.2%.

Joe Burrow can neutralize the strain to some extent by getting the ball out shortly, simply as he did for a lot of the common season. His common time to throw this season was simply 2.55 seconds, tied for second within the NFL behind solely Tom Brady. However Burrow additionally threw downfield far much less ceaselessly this season (8.3% of his go makes an attempt traveled 20 yards within the air) than he did a 12 months in the past (11.9% of passes).

Sacrificing explosiveness throughout the sphere for quickness and getting the ball into the arms of playmakers labored fairly nicely for Cincinnati at factors this season, particularly when Burrow might get the ball into the arms of Ja’Marr Chase, who not often is knocked down by the primary defender. However Buffalo’s protection is designed to problem opponents to cease it in precisely that method, so the Payments can use their improbable group pace to fly to the ball and restrict yardage after the catch. Chase is healthier than nearly anybody within the league at creating them, whereas Tee Higgins is likely one of the greatest receivers within the NFL, capable of win on the receiving level through the use of his physique and wingspan to forestall opposing defensive backs from getting their arms on them. the ball.

Buffalo is often content material to play within the zone and strain simply 4 defenders, but it surely would not be stunning to see Sean McDermott and Leslie Frazier make a little bit change this week after seeing how profitable the Ravens have been in speeding the Bengals out of their recreation. simulated and unique seems behind them. The Payments have the our bodies and athleticism to alter Burrow’s picture after snap, they usually can nonetheless play their most well-liked zone look whereas mixing in both Cowl-2, Cowl-3, man throughout the board, quarters, or one thing else. Protecting Burrow from understanding earlier than the snap what he’ll see as soon as he drops again to go is one of the best ways to make him hesitate and provides the fast go sufficient time to overwhelm the offensive line.

Burrow could make performs exterior of the construction of the offense, and he additionally has greater than sufficient confidence in Chase, Higgins and Tyler Boyd to make performs with the ball if he removes it shortly earlier than the push has time to get house. . These guys can completely repay Burrow’s religion, however it is going to be powerful to take action in opposition to the Buffalo secondary.

Given their offensive line woes, it appears extremely unlikely the Bengals will have the ability to management this recreation on the sphere. Their working recreation wasn’t too profitable even when the road was utterly wholesome, and Buffalo sports activities the most effective run defenses within the NFL. The Bengals are significantly better off placing the sport on Burrow’s shoulders and trusting him to beat the Payments with the mixture of his mind, trigger-happy and exemplary weapons on the perimeter.

When the Payments have the ball

The final time these two groups met, we solely noticed Buffalo’s offense in a single sequence. Due to this, a lot of what we wrote within the matchup preview for that recreation nonetheless applies:

The Payments and Bengals have not met since Josh Allen turned, nicely, this model of Josh Allen. The final time these two groups performed was in 2019, when Allen was nonetheless initially of his second NFL season. That lack of familiarity is why I am excited to see what sort of customized recreation plan Bengals defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo comes up with to deal with the distinctive problem Allen poses for a protection.

We have seen him do an amazing job in opposition to Patrick Mahomes, the one different quarterback in Allen’s stratosphere as a multidimensional playmaker, so it is going to be fascinating to see if the best way Anarumo assaults Allen is just like the best way he it has performed. issues labored out in opposition to Mahomes, and if not, how the sport plan itself will differ. Buffalo’s and Kansas Metropolis’s offenses aren’t actually that related regardless of being constructed round equally gifted quarterbacks, but it surely would not be stunning in any respect if Anarumo borrowed not less than a couple of sides of Kansas Metropolis’s recreation plan. for this matchup.

That means, placing as many defenders in protection as potential and solely working three or 4 looks like a stable technique to counter what Buffalo likes to do. It might mess up the Payments’ deep crossing routes, and layering up the midfield with a number of defenders might assist reap the benefits of Allen’s latest inaccuracy in positioning gamers to intercept deflected balls. It will additionally permit the Bengals to dedicate a number of protection defenders to Stefon Diggs and drive Allen to beat them along with his secondary and tertiary targets. Particularly given the accidents and youth within the secondary, it looks like a fairly good technique.

The Payments received some good video games out of auxiliary targets final week in opposition to the Dolphins, with Gabe Davis catching six passes for 113 yards and a landing, Dawson Knox catching three for 20 and a landing, and Cole Beasley and Khalil Shakir combining for 5 receptions to 86 yards and one other rating. Diggs had seven catches for 114 yards, however was extraordinarily calm after the primary quarter. I’ve a sense if the Bengals can drive the Payments to win precisely like they did final week, with Diggs quiet for a lot of the recreation and the opposite guys doing a lot of the injury the remainder of the best way, they will be fairly pleased. with themselves. The query is whether or not they can execute that plan given their relative weak spot at cornerback. Eli Apple and Cam Taylor-Britt (and Dax Hill, who took three penalties final week) will be overwhelmed, and if Allen will get Diggs, and even Davis, to go one-on-one with both of them, he needs to be anticipated to take his capturing.

If and when he does, the Bengals completely should reap the benefits of taking turnovers on pictures the place he is inaccurate or too aggressive. Allen has been all too prepared to drive issues in the course of the latter a part of this season, and we noticed final week how his tendency to take action can maintain any opponent within the recreation with Buffalo longer than anticipated. (And the Bengals aren’t simply any opponent, given the standard of his offense.)

The important thing there may be to drive the strain, but additionally include him so he does not sprint down the sphere to run the ball. It is a powerful stability to keep up, however Buffalo’s lackluster offensive line makes it potential, particularly on condition that Cincinnati has a powerful passing-passing duo in Trey Hendrickson and Sam Hubbard. If the Bengals can strain the correct aspect of the Payments’ line and drive Allen to maneuver left as a substitute of proper (he is significantly better at capturing when he strikes to his sturdy aspect), that is all the higher for them. .

The Payments have a tendency to avoid wasting the Allen-designed runs for the larger video games, and it is potential we might see a giant dose of them right here to allow them to flip the mathematics round early on. Cincinnati is extraordinarily It is exhausting to run when DJ Reader is on the sphere, so whereas the Payments have been simpler with Devin Singletary and James Prepare dinner of late, it could be a good suggestion to pitch one thing totally different to the Bengals in hopes of discovering a little bit extra success. than could be potential on the bottom.

Prediction: Payments 26, Bengals 23

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