This week we were able to get together with The Stripe Hypes Editor, Jason Marcum. This is what he had to say regarding the Bills/Bengals match-up this weekend.
1.How has rookie Giovani Bernard held up with running the ball and working with BJGE?
He’s opened up the running and passing game significantly more than Green-Ellis. Bernard is more capable of breaking off long runs, and is also a great pass-catching back, and don’t surprised if the Bengals begin lining him up more at receiver this week. He’s not as good of a pass-blocker though, and I fully expect Mike Pettine to dial-up some blitzes when Gio is in the game.
He’s not been able to distribute the ball well to anyone over the past few weeks, and is playing very poorly over the past three games in particular. He’s becoming a turnover machine, whether it’s holding the ball too long and allowing himself to be strip-sacked, or making questionable throws that end up being intercepted by the defense. He is targeting the tight ends, Tyler Eifert and Jermaine Gresham, and has completed a high percentage of his passes when throwing to them.
Other than that, even A.J. Green is struggling to have catchable balls thrown his way.
No. The anchor of their defense is tackle Geno Atkins, who has exploded for 3.5 sacks over the past two games, and draws a lot of attention that frees-up whoever it rushing from the outside. Wallace Gilberry is filling-in for the injured Michael Johnson at defensive end, but the production the Bengals are getting from their pass-rush hasn’t dropped off, as evidenced by their four sacks of Tom Brady last week.
Their secondary is one of the best in the league, and I am very intrigued to watch Leon Hall, one of the league’s best slot-cornerbacks, matched-up against Stevie Johnson, one of the best slot-receivers in the game.
Gilberry and Hall. Another player to watch for is George Iloka. The starting strong safety is why they call it “strong” safety. He’s one of the team’s hardest-hitters, and watching him crash down at full-speed into Fred Jackson should result in some memorable collisions on Sunday.
Rookie tight end Tyler Eifert i another one to watch. As said before, Dalton is targeting the TEs consistency, but so far, Jermaine Gresham has been the one who’s gotten most of the catches and yards. I think this may be the game where Eifert is targeted more and ends up having a big day.
One more player to watch is safety Chris Crocker. He’s the Swiss-Army knife of this defense, and you’ll see him line up at cornerback, safety and even blitz off the edge and wreak havoc in the backfield.