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3 Misconceptions For Falcons And Bengals Fans


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(posted this over on the Bengals boards too - so if it reads like I'm addressing Bengals fans, that's because I am)

I think that both teams' fans have a few misconceptions that I'd like to clear up, for fans of either team that might be reading (not to come off as patronizing or condescending, just taking note of a trend of posts from the majority of posters on each board). I'll try to condense it - let's say three points to take away.

To Atlanta fans:

1) The Bengals defense is more than just Burfict and Atkins. Peko is a stud NT and their DE rotation is stellar. A lot of us (not myself) wanted Hunt last year, Gilberry is breaking out, and obviously Dunlap can be a terror. At a time where our OL depth is seriously weak, this is easily going to be our biggest challenge offensively. Since it's our tackles that are weak, we're in even worse trouble, since I feel like your DT rotation could use a little buff, but our tackles are going to be in for a rough afternoon unless they play as well (or better) than against the Saints.

2) Bernard and Green are not the Bengals only threats, Jones can be sneaky and Sanu is my pick to breakout for you guys and give teams trouble this year. Thankfully Eifert is out but Gresham still matches up well against our LBs. Not counting Hill out either. Short and middle game is going to be really hard on us.

3) Dalton is NOT a piece of cake. Yes, he struggles a lot under pressure, but he's a really good QB behind an OL that our front 3 or 4 (depending on what Nolan feels like) is going to have trouble handling. Give him time and we'll have issues. I respect Dalton a lot more than some. Dude is on the up.

To Cincinnati fans:

1) While I'm not giving us too many props on the pass rush, I see a lot here talking about running on us...if you were watching the Saints game, our run defense only really fell apart in the 4th quarter. We added Soliai in the middle, a Pro-Bowler, and Tyson Jackson, one of the best run defenders in the league, along with Hageman. We're stout. Expect a lot more 1-2 yard gains than anything...they're hard to push around. I think our average weight across the DL increased 15 lbs this year. If you're expecting pressure, look to our LBs, especially Worrilow. Lots of 5 and 6 man pressure tomorrow.

2) Conversely, our secondary is easily the strength of the defense. I hope the Bengals try us deep, because the middle of the field and screen game can cut us up with our inexperienced backers. On the other hand, William Moore is a hammer and ballhawk, with Lowery being a giant upgrade over Thomas Decouldn't-tackle-a-five-pound-cockapoo. Trufant is already looking like shutdown material, was easily the best rookie CB last year (and I did NOT want us to take him initially), and Alford is a huge surprise. Has a great nose for the ball and instincts, made a ton of deflections last game. Sadly, if our rush can't get to Dalton, it won't matter how well they cover. Just look for an interception on the deep ball...very likely if you go that route.

3) Lastly - Matt Ryan. He's so much more elusive this year. Even while under pressure against the Saints line (and don't get me wrong, they're an elite DL), he shredded them and was more mobile than I've ever seen him. Always kept him around the 7-10 mark but if he has a game like against the Saints, he deserves consideration as elite. If he has a game like against the Saints, this WILL be a shootout. This isn't undermining your DL, it's just that he has too many weapons and looks too good. That said, if our interior doesn't hold up, this game could get ugly.

Good luck guys. Should be a great game. Hoping it will be.

Pessimist: ATL - 20, CIN - 28

Optimist: ATL - 30, CIN - 27

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Good post, but I think you kind of over rated the run defense we perpetrated vs. NOLA ...looked to me like a couple guys were stealing Arties money....got to tighten up.

I definitely think we're stout. Would gladly take the bet that NO has a top 10 running attack, if not top 5...that said, we did fall apart in the fourth. Not denying that.

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Nolan schematically eats QB's like Dalton for breakfast... This is the same dude that drew up gameplans that had the great Peyton Manning flustered and held the emaculate Drew Brees to 333 yards passing witgout a solid pass rush.

And also gives up career days to the likes of Geno Smith, etc. ( insert name of rookie QB ) .....
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(posted this over on the Bengals boards too - so if it reads like I'm addressing Bengals fans, that's because I am)

I think that both teams' fans have a few misconceptions that I'd like to clear up, for fans of either team that might be reading (not to come off as patronizing or condescending, just taking note of a trend of posts from the majority of posters on each board). I'll try to condense it - let's say three points to take away.

To Atlanta fans:

1) The Bengals defense is more than just Burfict and Atkins. Peko is a stud NT and their DE rotation is stellar. A lot of us (not myself) wanted Hunt last year, Gilberry is breaking out, and obviously Dunlap can be a terror. At a time where our OL depth is seriously weak, this is easily going to be our biggest challenge offensively. Since it's our tackles that are weak, we're in even worse trouble, since I feel like your DT rotation could use a little buff, but our tackles are going to be in for a rough afternoon unless they play as well (or better) than against the Saints.

2) Bernard and Green are not the Bengals only threats, Jones can be sneaky and Sanu is my pick to breakout for you guys and give teams trouble this year. Thankfully Eifert is out but Gresham still matches up well against our LBs. Not counting Hill out either. Short and middle game is going to be really hard on us.

3) Dalton is NOT a piece of cake. Yes, he struggles a lot under pressure, but he's a really good QB behind an OL that our front 3 or 4 (depending on what Nolan feels like) is going to have trouble handling. Give him time and we'll have issues. I respect Dalton a lot more than some. Dude is on the up.

To Cincinnati fans:

1) While I'm not giving us too many props on the pass rush, I see a lot here talking about running on us...if you were watching the Saints game, our run defense only really fell apart in the 4th quarter. We added Soliai in the middle, a Pro-Bowler, and Tyson Jackson, one of the best run defenders in the league, along with Hageman. We're stout. Expect a lot more 1-2 yard gains than anything...they're hard to push around. I think our average weight across the DL increased 15 lbs this year. If you're expecting pressure, look to our LBs, especially Worrilow. Lots of 5 and 6 man pressure tomorrow.

2) Conversely, our secondary is easily the strength of the defense. I hope the Bengals try us deep, because the middle of the field and screen game can cut us up with our inexperienced backers. On the other hand, William Moore is a hammer and ballhawk, with Lowery being a giant upgrade over Thomas Decouldn't-tackle-a-five-pound-cockapoo. Trufant is already looking like shutdown material, was easily the best rookie CB last year (and I did NOT want us to take him initially), and Alford is a huge surprise. Has a great nose for the ball and instincts, made a ton of deflections last game. Sadly, if our rush can't get to Dalton, it won't matter how well they cover. Just look for an interception on the deep ball...very likely if you go that route.

3) Lastly - Matt Ryan. He's so much more elusive this year. Even while under pressure against the Saints line (and don't get me wrong, they're an elite DL), he shredded them and was more mobile than I've ever seen him. Always kept him around the 7-10 mark but if he has a game like against the Saints, he deserves consideration as elite. If he has a game like against the Saints, this WILL be a shootout. This isn't undermining your DL, it's just that he has too many weapons and looks too good. That said, if our interior doesn't hold up, this game could get ugly.

Good luck guys. Should be a great game. Hoping it will be.

Pessimist: ATL - 20, CIN - 28

Optimist: ATL - 30, CIN - 27

With Eifert and Jones not playing, I dont see any other threats offensively besides AJ and Gio. I dont think Alford will need help with Sanu. Edited by FentayeJones
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