The Cincinnati Bengals’ defensive stats are impressive, but their style of play could actually present a chance for the Patriots’ offense to break out Sunday night.
The Bengals are among the leaders in just about every defensive category as they head into Foxboro for “Sunday Night Football.” That seems to present a mismatch on paper when you factor in New England’s offensive woes through the season’s first four games.
However, as NESN contributor and FootballByFootball.com founder Matt Chatham points out, the Patriots’ offense could take advantage of one of the Bengals’ perceived strengths.
The Bengals have defensive players who “flow” well, Chatham points out, which means they “read run schemes quickly and flow through blocking-traffic to make plays on runs not ran directly at them.” That style allows the Bengals to slow the running game on “playside runs.”
Chatham points out that the Patriots would be smart to employ the cutback running game as they did so many times last season.
The Patriots need to find a way to get the offense going. Don’t be surprised if this is a way they’re able to do so.
Screen shots via Matt Chatham, NFL Game Rewind
Thumbnail photo via Frank Victores/USA TODAY Sports Images