Giants at Bengals: Earlier in the week, I heard Tom Coughlin on the radio talking about the Bengals’ offensive line. He called them big and strong. I agree. It’s something I saw on tape way back in Week 1 when the Bengals played the Ravens. I’ve noted these guys and the examples below a few times on the blog here, but I really like the RG-RT tandem of Kevin Zeitler and Andre Smith in the run game.
One thing that the Bengals do well is double-team in the run game. In Week 1 against the Ravens, the player that the Bengals decided to attack was DE Pernell McPhee, who did not hold up so well against double-teams from Smith and Zeitler. Here are the Bengals doubling and sealing McPhee:
…and opening up a monster hole when McPhee can’t anchor:
Here’s McPhee again (circled), later in the game:
He’s blown off the ball by Smith and Zeitler in comical fashion, opening up another wide lane for the RB:
Over the last 5-6 years, Justin Tuck has been excellent against the run, but he may be on the downside of a very good career. I’ll be interested to see how he holds up against Zeitler and Smith.
The Giants struggled mightily last week against a slow running back that runs hard in Isaac Redman. They’ll get another one this week in BenJarvus Green-Ellis. The Bengals will (or at least should) try to slow this game down with the run, as they are not going to match Eli Manning and Co in the passing game, even with Eli in a bit of a slump.
I don’t think the Giants will let a mediocre running back gash them two weeks in a row. I see them bouncing back against the Bengals’ running attack, and doing just enough against a Bengals team that has lost four straight. Giants 27-20.
Cowboys at Eagles: I already talked in great detail about this matchup on my podcast, and also broke down some things the Eagles have exploited against the Cowboys in the past that they likely won’t be able to exploit this time around.
But the gist of it is that the Cowboys are more functional crappy 3-5 than than the Eagles’ version of 3-5. Cowboys 20-13.