The student news site of Highlands High School

The Hilltopper

The student news site of Highlands High School

The Hilltopper

The student news site of Highlands High School

The Hilltopper

Bengals Bye Week Keys: What the Bengals need to repair to overcome the Niners’

Cincinnati Quarterback, Joe Burrow, looks to pass.

The Cincinnati Bengals started the first four games of their season 1-3. They suffered losses to the Cleveland Browns, the Baltimore Ravens, and the Tennessee Titans. They got their first win against the Los Angeles Rams on September 25 during Monday Night Football. 

They proceeded to defeat the Arizona Cardinals and the Seattle Seahawks to get them back up to .500 before their bye week. Highlands senior Dominic Simmins believed the Bengals needed to get to 3-3 before the bye to have any chance at making the playoffs.  

“They needed to get to 3-3 because after the bye they immediately play the [San Francisco 49ers] and that’s going to be a tough game to win and if they keep losing games, it’ll be hard for them to ever get a winning record.” 

Following the Niners’, the Bengals play the (4-3) Buffalo Bills. If the Bengals can defeat the 49Niners’ and the Bills, they will be set up at a much more comfortable, 5-3 before heading into Texans’ week. 

On the contrary, if the Bengals lose these two games, they’ll drop to 3-5, slimming their playoff chances. The Bengals need to be prepared and rested for these upcoming games. 

Bengals Head Coach, Zac Taylor, would be wise to limit Joe Burrow during practice. Burrow ranks 24th in passing yards (1,230 yards), 26th in quarterback rating (40.4), and 17th in passing touchdowns (7). 

Burrow’s lack of success can primarily be attributed to a calf injury he sustained in the latter half of the off-season. The injury to his calf heavily retained his abilities—especially in his first two games—as he was forced to refrain from the mobile/pocket passing style that he prefers because he struggled to maintain elusiveness and the ability to extend the length of passing plays. Fortunately, as the season has progressed his play has improved in accordance with his calf.   

It’s imperative that he fully heals his calf in preparation for the Niners’ dynamic defense if they hope to have a chance at winning. 

Taylor and the offensive coordinators also need to work on building a more creative playbook. The offense has been very predictable which has made it easy for defensive coordinators to pinpoint and expose the Bengals’ offensive weak points. 

Long-range passes shouldn’t even be on the forefront of a coach’s mind when it’s third and short and the offense hasn’t been able to sustain a play for more than five seconds, but Taylor has repeatedly made these questionable decisions week in and out. 

Niners’ halfback, Christian McCaffery has been an offensive workhorse for San Francisco, on pace to potentially be the first non-quarterback MVP since Adrian Peterson won the award in 2012. 955 of the Niners’ 2,553 total offensive yards came off the run (approximately 37% of their entire offense). 

If the Bengals can stop the run they’ll be able to slow the Niners’ offense they’ll dramatically increase their chances at winning. The Bengals have let up 

Some notable inactive for the Niners’ is receiver Deebo Samuel and left tackle Trent Williams (questionable). 

The Niners have lost their last two games and will be hungry to get back in the win column this Sunday so Cincinnati is going to need to bring their best game to finally become a winning team this season. 

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