The Buffalo Bills are set to take on the Cincinnati Bengals tonight in a massive AFC clash. This game is huge for both teams, as both have struggled against AFC opponents and the conference records will play a significant role in the final playoff standings. Can the Bills get their offense rolling for four quarters? Can the Bengals take advantage of a depleted Bills defense?
Buffalo made a few roster moves last week, adding three new players to the team; however, it's unknown how much they will play, if at all. I don't expect to see Leonard Fournette, but I would not be surprised if both Douglas Rasul and Linval Joseph are sprinkled in here and there throughout the game.
Buffalo's offense was hot and cold last week against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers but will likely need to stay hot against the Bengals. I have some hope that the Bills defense can make a play or two to make the difference, but the offense has to score consistently to keep the pressure on Burrow and the Bengals offense. If they can do that, I think the Bills' pass-rush can play a factor in this game.
I sat down with Leigh Oleszczak of FanSided's Bengals dedicated team site, stripehype.com and asked her a few questions about this upcoming battle of AFC powerhouses.
Bills vs Bengals Q & A
Q: What’s changed in the Bengals since their 1 - 3 start?
Leigh: Joe Burrow wasn't healthy in those first four games, and it showed. Defenses were blitzing him all day long because he couldn't scramble and was basically as still as a statue in the pocket. His calf injury has cleared up and he's playing as well as he did in 2021 and 2022 and that's terrifying for the other 31 teams in the league.
Q: How do you think the Bengals secondary matches up with Diggs/Kincaid?
Leigh: The Bengals' defense, in general, is a bend but don't break unit, and that goes for the secondary too. They'll give up chunk plays but will either come up with a key turnover, prevent a first down, or hold the offense to a field goal. Expect the same to happen this Sunday night.
Q: What do you think is the key to a Bengals win?
Leigh: The offense needs to consistently run the ball so that the offense can open up more and allow Burrow chances to throw down the field. The defense needs to continue generating pressure and getting turnovers to get the offense back on the field.
Q: What concerns you most about the Bills against the Bengals?
Leigh: Josh Allen taking off with the football is a scary sight for anyone who's not a Bills fan. The Bengals' defense has not been good at stopping the run so I'd be shocked if the Bills didn't try to exploit that weakness whether it's Allen or Moss running the ball.
Q: What is your score prediction?
Leigh: The Bengals are red-hot right now and I'm not picking against them. Give me a 34-24 Bengals win at Paycor Stadium on Sunday Night Football.
Special thanks to Leigh for taking the time to answer our questions. Be sure to check her Q&A with me and other Bengals content at stripehype.com.