I had a chance to sit down with Bengals aficionado, Antarres Letcher, and ask him a bit about the Bengals team the Bolts will see on Sunday. You can follow Antarres on Twitter @_BengalsKing.
1) Andy Dalton appears to either be really good, or pretty bad. Which Dalton do you expect to see on Sunday?
Sunday won’t be a great game for Dalton. It will be below-freezing temperatures, so I expect the Bengals to focus on protecting the ball. They will probably run a lot more. I don’t think Andy Dalton will play bad, he will make some key throws and decisions, but I believe Cincinnati will focus on making this game a defensive matchup, and having their quarterback manage the game.
2) Who is the most important player for the Bengals defense Sunday? Will it be a pass rusher like Dunlap, the tackling machine Burfict, or a member of the secondary?
This unit is loaded, so It’s hard to say. But it seems every week (even the week he was injured) Vontaze Burfict is the most important. He is a sure tackler, and the leader of this defense. In the previous matchup in Week 13, Burfict recorded 13 tackles. Expect him to have the same type of performance Sunday.
3) The Bengals focused on the run in the first game against S.D., do you expect BJGE or Gio Bernard to carry the load?
Yes, Cincinnati had success before against the Chargers defense on the ground. Given the weather, and how difficult it will be to pass and catch, the Bengals’ will ground and pound this one using BenJarvus Green-Ellis. They will use the run to setup the play-action more.
4) What will Cincinnati try to replicate from the first matchup on Sunday?
Cincinnati will focus, once again, on keeping Phillip Rivers and that Chargers offense in check. Holding the Chargers to the same 10 points they allowed during the regular season, would be the ideal gameplan.
5) Do you think the potential snow and inclement weather helps or hurts the Bengals?
I think it hinders both football teams in some ways. Weather has always had an affect on the outcome of games in the NFL. But I do believe it helps Cincy, more so than S.D. The Bengals have been practicing and playing in these types of conditions since mid December.
Eric Weddle is again recognized for his stellar play.