3 things to watch: Bengals vs Falcons
09/10/2014 08:00 PM
There’s no question that the Bengals play better when they’re at home in Paul Brown Stadium. They were undefeated there last year during the regular season. That means Sunday when the Falcons come to town, Cincinnati has a good shot at becoming 2-0.
Here are 3 things to watch for:
1. Best WR duo in the NFL? According to Adam Jones, no. When asked if Falcons Wideouts Roddy White and Julio Jones are the best receiver duo in the league, Jones laughed and said “I don’t think so. I like our group. Have you heard of A.J. Green?” That being said, the duo of White and Jones make a strong case for being the best in the NFL. The Bengals secondary faces a big challenge in covering them Sunday, specifically in tackling well and bringing down Julio Jones.
2. Vontaze Burfict’s concussion protocol. This is actually more something to watch in the next few days leading up to the game. Concussion protocol can go quickly or drag on so we don’t know yet whether Burfict will be available to play in Sunday’s game (he did not participate in today’s practice). Since the linebacker is the heart and soul of the defense, having him healthy and able to play would be huge, especially against a strong Falcons offense. If Burfict can’t play, multiple other players will need to step up as leaders on defense and Vinny Rey will take a lot of those snaps on the field.
3. Will it sell out? I could’ve picked plenty of other players or position groups to watch, but this is important. Players from Andy Dalton to Andrew Whitworth reiterated today that a HUGE reason they are so successful at home is the fans. You have a home field advantage because of crowd noise. That’s the reason going to Baltimore was so difficult last week, and the Bengals players want fans in Cincinnati and the whole region to be just as loud. Domata Peko said last season that players from other teams mentioned how much louder PBS has gotten since previous years and the Bengals need that noise to continue if they’re going to be undefeated at home again. The game is not yet sold out. It kicks off Sunday at 1pm on CBS
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