Bengals vs Packers preview in Week 5
Ironically, the amount of Mixon that will be available on Sunday is a bit unknown. He’s questionable with an ankle injury after not training last week, but they haven’t called the training squad running back Trayveon Williams so head coach Zac Taylor will leave the Packers find Sunday if he keeps him just for a short distance and goal line, or spot him in a back-by-committee or let him go. Maybe it will be the party of another running back rookie. Chris Evans is still on the hunt for his first NFL carry.
What’s even more intriguing is that Taylor stares across the field at one of his best friends in the business, Packers head coach Matt LaFleur. In terms of the scheme, they are looking at each other in a mirror with lots of group formations, crosses and picks and wide zone based running play.
Philosophically, Taylor could be heading to the same place. The Packers made no secret that their racing game was a key addition for Rodgers with two active and dangerous full-backs. Aaron Jones, a 5-9, 208-pound slasher, has just finished consecutive seasons of 1,000 yards and averaging five yards per carry over his career. The 247-pound AJ Dillon is exploding this season for 4.5 yards per carry. And the Bengals have recognized that the Packers’ offensive line is well trained and reliable in the same kind of blocking pattern as the Bengals.
So, as Trae Waynes and Chidobe Awuzie give Taylor his first healthy starting cornerback tandem since October 13, 2019, it could be decided by how the Bengals’ defensive line faces their final test against the run. So far, so good. They’re ranked ninth to defend the race, but the Packers have the best pair of backs they’ve seen.
It’s kind of weird to hear a team come up and talk about keeping the Bengals off the field. But that’s where that thing is heading with Burrow, completing 73% of his passes for 9.2 yards per pitch, facing a secondary without his best cornerback and already yielding a 100.2 passer rating to his. opponents.
If there’s the temptation to throw it without Alexander covering and Za’Darius Smith rushing in, the Packers have put together a top ten 18 QB knockdowns. But Taylor was happy with what a balanced offense did for Burrow. In the last two games he’s mixed extended and heavy packs, along with shotgun and under center looks. After Burrow was sacked nine times and hit 16 in the first two games, he’s down one and three, respectively, with 39 points mixed with 50 assists in the last two games.
And the two best completion percentages of his career.
Maybe if you want to see how Duel in the Sun goes on the PBS charts, check the clock and not the score.