Pregame Notes: Panthers vs. Bengals
This game is a trap game if I have ever seen one. The dreadful 0-2 Panthers welcome the 1-1 Bengals who are coming off of an emotional big win over their division rival Baltimore. The Bengals will sit down Andre Smith so that they can keep another linebacker on staff since Odom and Fanene will be inactive due to injuries. The Bengals will be thin at corner as well because Adam Jones will not play with his injury and Ghee will play through his injury.
The Panthers are also fairly banged up, and the headliners for the inactive include the potential major bust Dwayne Jarrett and the stud offensive tackle Jeff Otah. The Bengals should be able to tee off on the young QB Jimmy Clausen who is getting his first start NFL start. The Bengals have historically struggled against young QB’s and they do not have a lot of tape on Clausen to really plan for him.
However, the situations are playing into the Bengals hands as the rain has fallen in Carolina which probably moves the game plans for both teams to the ground. Carolina has two running backs in Stewart and Williams who have the ability to score anytime they touch the ball. However, neither of the backs are power backs and the bad field conditions may slow them down. With offensive tackle Jeff Otah out of the game the Bengals should be able to apply a ton of pressure on the Panthers rookie QB, and it will cause their rookie corners to be able to make some plays. The Bengals should be able to move to 2-1 today and if they want to keep pace with their division rivals they will need to handle the teams they should beat. The Panthers are struggling with identity problems and cannot find a direction for their offense. If they want to win this game they will need the Bengals to show up unprepared after their huge win last weekend, or they will need a monster effort from Jimmy Clausen. Either way the game is Cincinnati’s to grab, but they will need to get over their bad history in these trap games if they want to move to 2-1 in this young 2010 season.