Excited for the Bills/Bengals game yet? If you aren't, we've got something to get your blood pumping - how about a steel cage match with Bills P Brian Moorman?
Each week, the Bengals blog WhoDeyFans.com selects one blog covering the Bengals' opponent and asks them what they call their "Steel Cage Questions". This week, the guys at WhoDeyFans were kind enough to include me - and they were even kinder to let me post the exchange. So, in our second interview this week, here's the exchange that we made earlier this week:
What Scares Us About the Bengals?
Yours Truly: Carson Palmer. Buffalo has had trouble generating much of a pass rush this season - even amidst their recent success defensively - so Palmer should have ample time to find Chad Johnson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh on Sunday. The Bills' Cover-2 scheme will likely limit any big plays being made by Cincinnati, but Palmer will have an opportunity to use an intermediate passing attack to carve up the Bills underneath and control the clock a bit.
What Scares You About the Bills?
WhoDeyFans: Bills play hard. They want to win and they are playing at home. The Bengals have been playing like they don't want to lose and it makes me nervous to play a team with heart. The first series could decide the game. Also, I'm worried about Leon Hall. You can't give up on a first round pick, so he'll be out there... but he is getting lit up. Teams have been picking on him all season and I expect nothing but the same this week. I don't want to see Hall on an island with Lee Evans.
What Match-Up Makes Us Feel Confident in the Bills?
Yours Truly: I really like Marshawn Lynch running against a beat up Bengals front seven. Lynch, who as a rookie has by far been the team's most consistent offensive threat with 537 rush yards and 4 scores, has yet to break the 100-yard barrier in his rookie season. I fully expect that to change Sunday - the Bills will want to control time of possession to keep the ball out of Palmer's hands, so the team will likely once again lean on Lynch while taking calculated shots down the field against the Bengals' secondary.
What Match-Up Makes You Feel Confident in the Bengals?
WhoDeyFans: The Bills defense is about as impressive as the Bengals'. And even though they lost to the Steelers, it looks like the Bengals' offense is getting on track. This week Rudi Johnson is ready to go again so with Rudi power running up the middle and Watson dancing through the holes it should lead to a nice day on the ground against a young defense. It is a sure thing; if the Bengals run well, they usually score big.
Best Current Bills Player Bengals Fans have Never Heard Of:
Yours Truly: Linebacker John DiGiorgio. More commonly known as "that guy who replaced Paul Posluszny", DiGiorgio has quietly been one of Buffalo's best defenders over the past month. He's constantly around the ball - he ranks second on the team with 52 tackles and has also picked up a sack, an interception and a fumble recovery since taking over in the middle. He's not the most talented guy you'll ever see (nor the biggest), but the former undrafted free agent has been an asset, rather than a liability, for a young Bills defense.
Best Current Bengals Player Bills Fans have Never Heard Of:
WhoDeyFans: DT Domato Peko. This second-year pro played so well last year he (along with chicken wings and gravy) chased Sam Adams out of town. This year he has 20 tackles, with one pass defended and one fumble recovery despite playing a role that requires him to take up blockers more than make a play. His biggest asset is his extreme athleticism. In 2005 he had a 74-yard fumble return for a TD vs. Michigan that tied score in fourth quarter. The guy is 6-3, 319. Look for his tuft of hair smashing into the line vs the Bills. He is one of the few bright spots on the Bengals defense to build upon for the future.
Who Wins the Game and What's the Score?
Yours Truly: No matter the opponent, Buffalo plays very well at home. They're 2-2, with wins over the Jets and Ravens and one-point (heart-breaking) losses to the Broncos and Cowboys. That trend is likely to continue this weekend with a Bengals team that can't play defense in town. Buffalo will have just enough offense and special teams to outscore the Bengals in a moderate scoring affair. Bills 23, Bengals 20.
WhoDeyFans: At some point the Bengals need to catch a break. This week is it. For a quarterback like Carson Palmer in his 5th year with receivers like the Bengals have; to not be able to go to Buffalo and beat the Bills is ridiculous. They are a rebuilding team limping with injury. The Bengals are a team with a limping defense but an offense of pro-bowl caliber players. They get ahead early this week and pound the ground game as the Bills try to catch up. And the Bills will almost catch up. But they wont. Bengals 28. Bills 27.
If there was a steel cage match instead of a football game featuring one current player, who do you nominate?
Yours Truly: This was an easy decision to make - I'll go with our 6'0", 172-pound punter, Brian Moorman. Video evidence of Moorman's ability to take a hit has since been stripped from the Internet by the National Football League - they don't want the public to know just how bad-ass this guy is. Moorman is the one football player to make "wiry" a terrifying term. With a punting leg capable of roundhouse kicks that would make Chuck Norris proud, plus his resourcefulness and grit, Moorman would be a tough out for even the nastiest of defensive linemen in a steel cage match.
WhoDeyFans: S Chinedum Ndukwe. The 6-2, 218 pound safety out of Notre Dame packs a huge punch -- an impressive thing for the usual arm tackling Bengals defense. Check out the hit he lays on Calvin Johnson. Two men enter one Safety leave.
Thanks to WhoDeyFans.com for allowing us to break our laid-back, analytical tradition here at Buffalo Rumblings and get into it a little bit. Much more on the Bengals game tomorrow!