The Cincinnati Bengals head to London this weekend to take on some wily old chaps – the 4-3 Washington Redskins. It’s a matchup that comes at a great time for Cincy. Last week’s victory over Cleveland was a great confidence builder after a tough slate of games to open the season. Now the Cincinnati Bengals are ready to take the next step, facing a team that’s neither a world-beater or a pushover. Washington has won 4 of its last 5 but sits in 3rd place in the NFC East.
Set the DVR for this one, because most of you will be in church during the 8:30 am Central Time kickoff from Wembley Stadium.
5 Things to Watch in this Cincinnati Bengals Game
- It’s the first London game for both teams. That may not affect the game. What will, though, is jet lag and time zone difference. Don’t be surprised if there is sloppy play or a few extra turnovers. It will come down to who can capitalize off of them.
- The Bengals are healthy. For the first time in what seems like forever, the Cincinnati Bengals don’t bring their own wing of the ER to the sidelines. There is no one on the injury report. Contrast that with the boys from Washington. Running back Matt Jones is out. Five players (including CB Josh Norman and tackle Trent Williams) are questionable. Advantage: Cincinnati.
- They could beat a former coach – again. Last week, the Cincinnati Bengals defeated former offensive coordinator Hue Jackson, now Cleveland’s head coach. Can they pull the exact same trick twice in a row, with former OC Jay Gruden now leading the way in Washington? Gruden called the plays for Cincy from 2011-2013 and coached up some guy named Dalton – you may have heard of him.
- Redskins have Captain Kirk at the helm. Kirk Cousins, that is – and he’s playing like a captain, all right. He has thrown for 1,996 yards this year, and there’s only been one game (Philadelphia) where he’s completed less than 60% of his passes. Let’s hope he doesn’t have a good enough game in London to justify a promotion to Major.
- It’ll be easy being Green. AJ Green is once again playing at a Pro-Bowl level with 775 receiving yards (2nd in the NFL). If Josh Norman can’t play, that’s not good for the Redskins’ secondary. If he can play, you wonder how effective he’ll be. The Bengals should be licking their chops either way.