The Cincinnati Bengals are entering week 8 as they prepare to take on the Los Angeles Rams. With every game of the season, there will be things to watch and focus on. Here are five things to watch for in week 8.
1. Does Zac Taylor Have Enough Inside Info on the Rams?
A lot was made about Zac Taylor coming from the Rams to the Bengals. He was one of a few people who had ties to Rams head coach Sean McVay to get head coaching jobs of their own over the last few seasons. Only time will tell if any of those coaches will pan out, but Taylor needs to start improving his coaching soon.
Taylor should know enough about the Rams’ offense to formulate a good gameplan. The problem will be whether the Bengals have enough talent to execute the gameplan. They haven’t shown they can win a game yet, but with Taylor’s insight, they may be able to keep another game close.
2. Andrew Whitworth vs. Cincinnati
Andrew Whitworth spent his first 11 seasons with the Bengals before playing the last two and a half years with the Rams. It was painful for most Cincinnati fans to watch Whitworth walk away, but he was aging and the Bengals were in no position to compete, with or without Whitworth. Last season, Whitworth was fortunate enough to play in a Super Bowl with the Rams.
Now Whitworth will play the Bengals on a Rams team that has struggled, but still looks poised for another playoff run. With not many good things going on for the Bengals right now, it might be best to try to cheer on a former Bengal to success. The four-time Pro-Bowler deserves all the success coming to him, as he is a great player and did a lot for the Cincinnati community.
3. What Changes are Coming?
After the loss to the Jaguars, Zac Taylor alluded that changes might be coming. As any coach would do, he didn’t reveal those changes. He will likely keep those a secret, or at least he will try. What changes could be coming this weekend against the Rams?
Taylor was asked about backup Ryan Finley getting playing time and he dodged the question. This may not be the best time to throw Finley into the lineup, as he’ll have to face off against Aaron Donald and newly-acquired Jalen Ramsey. Other changes will likely happen though. Germaine Pratt may get more snaps at linebacker. The offensive line might get another shake up. In the secondary, Brandon Wilson and other youngsters may get more time.
4. Cordy Glenn’s (Possible) Debut
Cordy Glenn was out for the first six weeks of the season with a concussion suffered in the preseason. He then was suspended for the week 7 game against the Jaguars after missing meetings and practices. Glenn was reportedly unhappy with the team’s handling of his concussion. Now, the Bengals have released defensive lineman Anthony Zettel to make room for Glenn on the roster.
There is no guarantee that Glenn will play, as this doesn’t seem to be something that can be cleared up easily. The Bengals will have him on the roster though. If Glenn plays, it would greatly help an offensive line that has not played well this year. If he doesn’t he may be on the trade block for the next week before the deadline. As for other returns, Zac Taylor has said they aren’t ruling out A.J. Green for this week’s game, but ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that he will not play before the October 29 trade deadline.
5. Will Andy Dalton Have Another Meltdown?
Last week against the Jaguars, Andy Dalton started the game off decently, but then had a meltdown in the second half with three interceptions on three straight throws. He was sacked only twice and still made some poor decisions. Had Dalton not turned it over the three times in a row, the Bengals may have been able to win the game.
Against the Rams, it may be more likely that Dalton turns the ball over. Aaron Donald will be pressuring him, while Jalen Ramsey and Aqib Talib will be guarding his top receivers. There is a possibility Dalton will have Green and Glenn back on offense, which would help, but with how Dalton played against the Jaguars, it doesn’t look likely he will be able to overcome his problems.