Cincinnati Bengals (2-1) at Atlanta Falcons (1-2)
Man, what a tough week 3 for Bengals fans. In a game that looked so ugly on paper, the Bengals managed to stay within one score for essentially the whole game. This was a very winnable game for Cincinnati but they could not seem to get it going in the second half. Yes we know there was drama with John Ross, and the A.J. Green injury, and a non existent run defense. But despite all of this, the Bengals hung in there with the Panthers and kept it close. But that is behind now in the past, the Bengals still sit atop the AFC North and seem to have avoided a serious injury to Green.
Now onto week 4, and I want to start by saying, weddings during football season should be illegal. I will be in attendance at my cousins wedding this weekend. Congrats to her and I feel honored to be in the wedding, however it is three and a half hours away and I will have to be up at the crack of dawn to drive home to watch the game on top of making sure all my fantasy football lineups are set. Tired of my complaining yet, let’s talk Bengals now. The Bengals will travel to Atlanta to take on the Falcons, who are somehow more banged up than the Bengals are at this point in the year. Having lost their best starting linebacker and both starting safeties, the Bengals may be able to take advantage on offense.
Matchups to watch for…
Dre Kirkpatrick vs. Julio Jones – Dre and Julio go way back, as they were teammates in college at Alabama. Dre will definitely have his work cut out for him on Sunday. He has faced a lot of criticism for his play this year and has been targeted a ton this season so far. He has actually done a fairly good job at corner and on Sunday he faces his toughest task of the year with Julio Jones. Playing for pride and facing off against his old teammate, Dre should have plenty of motivation this week. In order for the Bengals to win, Kirkpatrick must find a way to slow down Julio.
Giovani Bernard vs. a banged up Falcons Defense – Over the past two weeks, the Falcons have given up over 329 yards from scrimmage to running backs, 226 in which have been receiving yards. With the loss of Deion Jones and Keanu Neal the Falcons have been destroyed by running backs in the passing game. This is very good news for Gio, who has had plenty of success catching the ball. After a good performance versus Carolina he will be key in this matchup. The Bengals have to establish a run game to keep the Falcons offense off the field. Gio should have a huge day in week 4.
John Ross vs. Himself – John Ross has been all the talk this week for the Bengals. After questionable play in week 3, Bengals fans are calling for him to be benched which is silly. Although that is another subject which you can read about in one of my previous articles. Ross will face his biggest test of the year in showing whether or not he can bounce back and prove everyone wrong. Ross must show improved hands and work ethic. He appears to still have the trust of his coaches and teammates, but can he prove it to fans this week? It’s a big week for #15.
This game will be decided by the Bengals defense. Dalton and company shouldn’t have any huge issues moving the ball and scoring, especially with A.J. Green looking like a lock to play Sunday. The Bengals defense will be the ones who have to slow down this Falcons offense and get off the field on third down, which they haven’t been able to do this year. If the defense can hold the Falcons to around 21-24 points, I think the offense should be able to put up more than this to leave Atlanta with a win.
My Prediction: All year I have been predicting the Bengals to split the Carolina and Atlanta game going 1-1 between the two. I bet on Cincy last week and was burned and am skeptical to pick them this week. While I think they have the ability to win this week, it is always tough to win on the road. Especially somewhere loud like Atlanta. I will not be surprised if they win this week but I am picking them to lose a close game. I hope they prove me wrong but the high powered Falcons passing game is looking red hot right now and I think Atlanta kicks a last second field goal to win this one.
My Prediction: Bengals 27 Falcons 30
My Bengals Predictions on the year: 2-1
Be sure to follow me on twitter @Pierson242FF, Who Dey!
Game: Cincinnati Bengals (2-1) at Atlanta Falcons (1-2)
Date/Time: September 30, 2018 at 1:00 p.m. EST
Location: Mercedes Benz Stadium
Uniforms: White Jersey with Black Pants
Last Matchup: 9/14/14 – Bengals 24, Falcons 10
Odds: Bengals, +5