Cincinnati Bengals Vs. Buffalo Bills Preview
In this parity-driven league, it is indeed possible to have two teams with a combined three wins and have it be a compelling matchup.
Well, for those in the greater Cincinnati area, the only way they are seeing this one is if they are at the stadium, as the 57-game sellout streak at Paul Brown Stadium has officially ended.
Bengals fans, who had high expectations heading into this campaign, have repeatedly been punched in the face all season.
One heartbreaking loss after another has finally closed the wallets of said fanbase.
The Bengals have lost six in a row by a combined 41 points, giving probable playoff teams like Atlanta, Pittsburgh and Indianapolis all they can handle, but coming up short in the end due to critical mistakes.
Still, there are no moral victories, as this one is purely a matchup for not only personal pride, but draft positioning.
A few key figures will be squaring off against their former teams, as Buffalo quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and Cincinnati wide receiver Terrell Owens will be looking to show their former employer what they are missing out on.
Fitzpatrick has 14 touchdowns and seven interceptions after taking over for Trent Edwards, and his top target, Steven Johnson, has 44 catches for 591 yards.
If Buffalo is looking for a formula of success, then it may look to get the ground game going with Fred Jackson, who will be starting for the injured CJ Spiller.
The Bengals have allowed seven 100-plus-yard rushing performances this season.
On offense for the Bengals, they are coming off a five-turnover game, but will be facing a team that has forced a league low eight turnovers.
If Cedric Benson is to ever have a breakout game this year, this may be the game to do it, as he will be facing the worst rushing defense in the NFL.
The Bills allow 166.9 rushing yards per game.
In terms of passing, it will be interesting to see who Carson Palmer looks to throw to against the aforementioned unopportunistic Buffalo squad.
Will he ride the hot hand from last week, Chad Ochocinco, or will he help Owens rub it in the face of his ex-mates?
Also, will we continue to see the development of Jermaine Gresham, who really came onto his own last week?
The Bengals have failed to keep everyone happy and involved, as a lack of an innovative offensive game plan has played a big part in their 2-7 record.
The season is over, but the molding of next year's Bengals team is underway, and it will be interesting to see which players remain motivated and who starts to play for their own personal glory.
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