We are just a day away from kickoff between the Titans (1-1) and the Bengals (2-0) and we want to bring you the most coverage up the upcoming matchup. We recently seek out to our FanSided Network’s Cincinnati Bengals site, StripeHype.com for their insight of the game.
Matthew Willson is the co-editor of StripeHype.com and sat down with us for some Q&A about the Bengals and the game. Be sure to follow Stripe Hype on Twitter @StripeHype and you can follow Matthew on Twitter @MattWillsonMNC. Hope you enjoy the interview. Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Titan Sized: The Cincinnati Bengals are off to a 2-0 start. It is the first time under the Dalton era this has happened. What is the moral like for Bengal fans with this successful start? Are there any new expectations to this season by the fan base due to the 2-0 start?
Stripe Hype: The fans are cautiously optimistic. When you have a young QB that is still you but has yet to win a playoff game (0-3), you always want to see him perform well not only in the regular season but also when it really counts in the playoffs.
TS: Andy Dalton seems to be having his offense on the right track. He has thrown for 500 yards in two games and has emerged as one the NFL quarterbacks to throw consecutive games of touchdown passes of at least 76 yards since 2000, putting him in records with names like Eli Manning and Aaron Rodgers. Is Dalton forming into one of the NFL’s elite quarterbacks?
SH: I am not ready to call him elite just yet. He still needs to perform well past the regular season. He is however, a quarterback that I am glad to have on my team. Hue Jackson’s system fits him well and made it easy for Dalton to transition from Jay Gruden’s pass first system. If he can win a few playoff games and bring a championship ring to the city, then we will start to revisit the word Elite.
TS: Give us a run down of the Bengals injury report. A.J. Green has always been a huge threat. What’s the likelihood of him playing in Sunday’s matchup against the Titans?
SH: Right now he is listed as probable and looks like he will be good to go. They do lose a huge threat on the defensive side with Vontaze Burfict being down this week. That might be something to watch but this defense is full of weapons that it could minimize the problems.
TS: Besides Dalton and Bernard, who are some other players on offense should be of concern?
SH: AJ Green is dangerous as mentioned before, but their wide receiving core has proven they can pick it up if Green goes down. Jeremy Hill is just as talented as Bernard and can be just as dangerous in the open field.
TS: The Bengals come into this game against the Titans as a 6.5 point favorite. What do the Titans have to do to control the Bengals high-power offense?
SH: They must control the ball themselves. Get up early and disrupt the balance of this Bengals offense.
TS: Breakdown the Bengals defense for us. What are some concerns? Which players should we look out for?
SH: Geno Atkins has been fairly quiet but that just makes him all the more dangerous to have a huge game. Burfict is most likely out this week to get 2 straight weeks of rest from back to back concussions. This secondary is dangerous if they can disrupt the passing game and get into Lockers head early.
TS: What’s your prediction of the game with a final score?
SH: I think that the Bengals should win, it may be harder than some expect but I have them at 31-17 over the Titans.