By Andrea Shellow @AyeJaieEss
This week the Cincinnati Bengals (3-7-1) take on the Philadelphia Eagles (5-6). These two teams have just 12 meetings under their belts. The last meeting being in 2012 in Philly with the Bengals taking that one with a score of 34-13. Cincinnati leads the series 8-3-1. The Eagles are meeting Cincinnati in The Jungle @1:00pm ET Sunday.
This game is more important to the Eagles in terms of playoff hopes. Philadelphia will need to pull out a win in order to potentially snag the Wildcard in the NFC. A win this week for Cincinnati could potentially alter the dreams of their opponent. It could also give the guys a bit of a pick me up after losing the last 3 games this season.
For the past few weeks I have been rooting big time for our rookie Tyler Boyd to get more playing time and show the league what he is made of. In the past few weeks he has been making his name on the team. Two weeks ago he had his first NFL touchdown. Last week he made his debut as a starter. This week I am hoping that he continues his upward spiral and makes more plays.
In addition to Boyd, it is Tyler Eifert who we should be keeping an eye on. Last week against the Baltimore Ravens, Eifert had 68 Rec yards and 1 TD. In the absence of AJ Green I will be looking to see how Vontaze Burfict fairs this week. It seems as though he has been progressing on the field. He has been cited saying “…understanding route concepts, watching films and understanding how they’re going to attack us” are key factors in his improvement.
To see guys starting to come into their own and pick up some slack is amazing to watch unfold. This seems to be helping, not helping win games, but helping to keep us hopeful. No, not hopeful to make the playoffs, but hopeful that we have others on the team who will stand in the gap and rally around each other in the absence of key players. If this continues we should see some wins on the board to close out the season.
I will certainly be looking to see if any improvement has been made in the area of #OperationProtectDalton. Not to sound like a broken record people, but if you don’t protect your quarterback nothing else goes right. If Andy Dalton is not protected, it’s a domino effect that leads to disaster. As we can see as of late, it leads to loss and no one loves losing.
This is the time of year that all we hear is playoff this and playoff that. Hopefully, the Bengals are learning that, though they will not be in the playoffs this year, they will escape out of this a team. A team ready to do what needs to be done in the offseason. What doesn’t finish you makes you stronger, right? Stronger they will be. Healthier they will be.
On a personal note, no matter where we are right now, if the Cleveland Browns’ fan base still rallies around them at 0-12, we can give our guys what they need and that’s loyalty. If AJ Green is telling us that he will not bail just because we are losing and he is hurt, then friends we can keep cheering. I know it hurts. I don’t like losing, but losing builds character.
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