The Philadelphia Eagles (0-2) and the Cincinnati Bengals (0-2) are set to play each other this Sunday afternoon at Lincoln Financial Field. In order to preview this Week 3 matchup, I reached out to our enemies over at Cincy Jungle. The pleasant Patrick Judis kindly took the time to answer my questions about the upcoming contest. Let’s take a look at the answers. (Don’t forget to also check out my Q&A exchange over at CJ.)
1 - How’s Joe Burrow looking through two games?
Joe Burrow has been exactly what this team thought they were getting with the first overall paick. He has been great off the field resetting expectations for this team, and on the field we have seen flashes of what he can (and probably will be).
That being said, he is still a rookie, and he is going to make mistakes or be out of sync with his receivers. Still, he has already shown a veteran level ability of running the no huddle offense each week so far.
2 - What’s the confidence level in Zac Taylor as the Bengals’ head coach?
So that’s kind of up in the air at the moment. If you had asked me before the season I would’ve had a different answer. Many of the free agents and even Burrow have talked about why Taylor was a big reason why they were happy to come to to a two win team this offseason.
However, some of the same problems are popping up this year. Namely the same names struggling along the offensive line. His loyalty to certain players and coaches has become a bit frustrating as of late, especially with Burrow’s health on the line.
3 - What is the Bengals’ biggest strength? How should they be attacking the Eagles?
The no huddle offense is really when this offense really shines. They get to spread teams out, and it makes it easier for Burrow to get checked into the proper protections and plays. It also get more receivers like Tee Higgins and Mike Thomas on the field, who he has worked with the most due to injuries in training camp.
Defensively, it is kind of hard to pinpoint a real strength just because of the inconsistencies from Week 1 to Week 2. They really were able to get off the field on third and fourth down Week 1. However in Week 2 they got run all over and only pressured Baker Mayfield three times all game. This week may help determine which one is what we can actually expect from this team.
4 - What is the Bengals’ biggest weakness? What should the Eagles be looking to exploit?
The Bengals seem to think they can still run normal formations with two tight ends lined up along the offensive line. It is honestly a bit archaic, especially when you consider Burrow’s skill set. It is even worse when you watch the right side of the offensive line try to pass protect or run block. It always feels like a wasted play.
The defense is still really trying to gel, and not having Geno Atkins in the middle has really been a pretty big blow to the pass rush. The secondary got picked on last week, but the real trouble came in trying to stop the running game. That was a problem last year, and without Atkins it has been pretty easy for teams to get their running game going so far.
5 - Who wins this game and why? Score prediction? And what are your expectations for the rest of the Bengals’ season?
These are two (0-2) teams facing off, and it is early enough in the year that I can still bet on some Burrow magic to propel the Bengals to their first win of the season. I do think it ends up being a very close 31-28 victory with a late Bengals score to put them ahead.
As for the rest of the year, I think this is a five to six win team as is. If they start to turn some things around or Burrow really starts clicking then maybe they get to 8-8. All really depends on how lucky they get in these one score games, which Taylor has now been 0-10 in so far with Cincinnati.