What to watch for: Eagles/Bengals
This Thursday night match-up may not really be a game worth watching on the national scope, but in Philly it has plenty of value. It all begins with our first thing to watch for:
1. Jay Gruden. The younger Gruden is the offensive coordinator of the Bengals and a potential candidate for the Birds all-but-certain vacancy next year. All eyes in the front office will be closely watching him tonight. He’s done a great job with last year’s second round QB Andy Dalton and the hope is that he could translate that same success to third rounder Nick Foles.
2. A.J. Green vs. DRC. A.J. Green is having a phenomenal season for the Bengals. He has 79 catches for 1,151 yards and 10 TD’s. Woof. The guy is everything that you dream of in a receiver: tall, speedy, good with using his body, and has great concentration. He’s essentially unstoppable…and in his second season. With DRC’s contract expiring at the end of the year he’ll need to have a good game tonight if he expects the Eagle’s (or anyone) to give him a lofty contract.
3. Nick Foles. Foles has been progressing from week to week and showed some clutch play-making ability last week. However, Foles will go from facing the worst pass defense in the league to the 10th best. Can he step up to the challenge?
4. The young guns on the defensive line. While Cincy is enjoying a successful campaign, their offensive line has been sluggish. they are currently allowing the 6th most sacks in the league with 37, which is just under three per game. This means that Brandon Graham, Fletcher Cox, and Vinny Curry could make a solid impact tonight.
5. Dennis Kelly. After three weeks of decent play on the outside, it seemed like Dennis Kelly has improved greatly since shifting from right guard. Against Tampa Bay, however, Kelly was demolished-allowing a sack, a hit, and five hurries on the quarterback. With limited time to prepare, tonight will be a good indicator of Kelly’s ability against this solid Bengals unit.
6. Bryce Brown. It’s only been a few games for Bryce Brown, yet multiple people have compared him to Bo Jackson, who was a superbly talented back. Keep checking on where Brown hold the ball and how he handles switching the ball from hand to hand. If he can maintain possession and proper form, the rest will fall into place.