KCCD Writer: Elliot Dennis
Week 11 brings the Cincinnati Bengals to Arrowhead for the first time since the 2007 season (Chiefs won 27-20)and the first matchup between the teams since 2009 (Bengals won 17-10). The Bengals come in with a 4-5 record with a win against the defending champion New York Giants last week.
The Chiefs are 1-8, having lost to the Pittsburg Steelers in overtime on Monday Night Football this past week. The overall series is tied 13-13.
Chiefs: Out: Guard Jon Asamoah (hand), Wide Receiver Jonathan Baldwin (head/neck) Questionable: Quarterback Brady Quinn (concussion), Center Ryan Lilja (knee) Probable: Wide Receiver Dwayne Bowe (thigh), Tight End Steve Maneri (ankle), Nose Tackle Dontari Poe (knee)
Bengals: Doubtful: Safety Reggie Nelson (hamstring), Wide Receiver Marvin Jones (knee) Questionable: Center Jeff Faine (hamstring), Wide Receiver Andrew Hawkins (knee) Probable: Defensive Tackle Devon Still (back), Linebacker Vontaze Burfict (elbow), Cornerback Adam Jones (calf), Safety Taylor Mays (knee), Cornerback Nate Clements (knee)
Chiefs Offense: Matt Cassel will start
Sorry Ricky Stanzi supporters, Romeo Crennel’s empty threat (any player that turns the ball over will get benched) did not hold any weight, so Cassel will get the nod this week. With Jon Asamoah out (Russ Hochstein will start), Cassel will be under constant pressure from Cincinnati’s monstrous pass rush. Most likely we will see Cassel commit a few mistakes (Cincinnati is tied for 12th in the NFL in takeaways). I expect stud DT Geno Atkins to have a huge performance against an injured Chiefs interior line this week.
The Chiefs should have success running the ball against Cincinnati’s 27th ranked run defense, provided that Daboll actually gives Charles carries. Expect to see a healthy Peyton Hillis get carries this week as well.
I still believe the Chiefs will struggle offensively again this week. Cassel makes bad decisions, Charles does not receive many carries, Bowe keeps dropping the ball, and we can always count on a Ryan Lilja botched-snap every week. Ultimately, turnovers will probably kill this team’s chances of winning again.
Chiefs Defense: Will they play well again?
Last week, the defense held the Todd Haley-run Pittsburg Steeler offense to 16 points and did a decent job in stopping the run and limiting Mike Wallace — other than a freak touchdown catch. This season, the defense has been very inconsistent from week to week. They shut down a couple of very good offenses in the Ravens and Steelers but they allowed tons of yards and points to others, such as the Buccaneers, Bills, and Raiders. Can they play well two weeks in a row? That remains to be seen.
Cincinnati’s offense is mainly one-sided, primarily throwing the ball to top-tier receiver A.J. Green. If the Chiefs put Brandon Flowers on him, they can really limit what Cincinnati will do offensively.
A big weakness of this team this season has been stopping the run; however, Cincinnati will not be able to take advantage because their lead running back, Benjarvis Green-Ellis, is terrible. He is averaging 3.4 yards per carry this season and has fumbled 3 times. The Bengals would bench him, but with their lack of depth at running back, they have no one else to turn to.
Due to the Chiefs’ lack of depth in the secondary, Andy Dalton should have success throwing the ball to Jermaine Gresham, Andrew Hawkins, and Mohamad Sanu. But overall I believe the Chiefs D will play well for the 2nd straight week and not allow more than 2 offensive touchdowns.
Predicion: Chiefs: 6 – Bengals: 19
The Chiefs went to overtime on Monday Night Football last week, so I expect the team to come out flat. When it comes down to it, I believe the Chiefs offensive woes continue in this game. Cassel does not make very good decisions with the ball, the Bengal pass rush is too good, and the lack of secondary depth will doom them this week. I expect it to be close until the end. A late Chiefs’ turnover will seal their fate.