TALE OF THE TAPE

Tale Of The Tape: Cincinnati Bengals At Buffalo Bills

Cincinnati Bengals
Buffalo Bills
Quarterback
Winner Andy Dalton is not progressing the way he should this season if the Bengals are going to compete for the AFC championship. While they had a signature victory against the Patriots, Dalton is a limited leader who is cementing himself in the game manager category. Dalton can throw the short-range passes and reads defenses fairly well, but his medium- and long-range passes are questionable.
The Bills suffered a terrible loss against the Browns when rookie quarterback E.J. Manuel went down with a knee injury and Jeff Tuel was inserted at the position. Tuel is not a reasonable alternative, so the Bills have signed Thad Lewis off the street and he is going to get the start this week. He is a mobile quarterback with moderate arm strength.
Offense
The Bengals have adequate skill-position players, but wide receiver A.J. Green has superstar talent. He is not able to channel it because Dalton lacks the consistency to get the ball to him downfield. Running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis ran with power and passion against the Patriots in Week Five, but rookie Gio Bernard has the speed to make explosive plays because of his speed and quickness.
Winner The Bills want to run the football, especially with an emergency quarterback like Lewis under center. C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson give the Bills a two-headed rushing attack that can take the pressure off of the passing game. Stevie Johnson will likely sulk because of the quarterback situation, but he needs to get wide open to help Lewis out.
Defense
Winner The Bengals held Tom Brady without a touchdown pass in the Week Five victory and that’s a huge accomplishment. Some of that was due to the horrific weather, but Geno Atkins and Domata Peko collapsed the pocket and made life difficult for Brady. Linebacker Vontaze Burfict is a vicious hitter who flies to the football.
The Bills are an up-and-down defensive team that appears to change personalities throughout the game. Much of that is due to defensive end Mario Williams’ inconsistency. When he is on his game, he is a one-man wrecking crew. Kiko Alonso is a coming star who is a huge hitter with game-changing ability. He had 12 tackles vs. the Browns in Week Five.
Special Teams
Winner The Bengals will play disciplined football on special teams as they stay in their lanes and don’t allow big plays. Mike Nugent made both of his FG attempts against the Patriots, including a 50-yarder. Kevin Huber rebounded from an ordinary game by averaging 45.8 yards on six punts against New England.
Winner Jeff Leonhard is not a speedster, but he is a smart player who can get everything out of a return because he is smart and can read his blockers. Punter Shawn Powell averaged 45.5 yards on his eight punts vs. the Browns. Dan Carpenter showed the leg strength to hit a 52-yard field goal.

The Winner Is

Winner Cincinnati Bengals
3 out of 4

The Bengals had a signature victory over the Patriots, and this is the kind of game that should be a jumping off point for them. However, that’s rarely been the case for a Marvin Lewis-coached team and it seems likely that the Bengals could be ripe for an upset.
-Steve Silverman, CBS Local Sports contributor

MORE TALES OF THE TAPE

  1. Nigel Williams-Goss #5 of the Gonzaga Bulldogs reacts after a play in the second half against the South Carolina Gamecocks during the 2017 NCAA Men's Final Four Semifinal at University of Phoenix Stadium on April 1, 2017 in Glendale, Arizona. Kennedy Meeks #3 and Justin Jackson #44 of the North Carolina Tar Heels react in the second half against the Oregon Ducks during the 2017 NCAA Men's Final Four Semifinal at University of Phoenix Stadium on April 1, 2017 in Glendale, Arizona.
    NCAA Championship Tale: 1 Gonzaga Vs. 1 North Carolina

    Gonzaga and North Carolina are set to square off in the NCAA Championship. Let’s break down the matchup.

  2. Joel Berry II #2 of the North Carolina Tar Heels handles the ball in the second half against the Kentucky Wildcats during the 2017 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament South Regional at FedExForum on March 26, 2017 in Memphis, Tennessee. Tyler Dorsey #5 of the Oregon Ducks reacts in the second half against the Kansas Jayhawks during the 2017 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament Midwest Regional at Sprint Center on March 25, 2017 in Kansas City, Missouri.
    Final Four Tale: 1 North Carolina Vs. 3 Oregon

    North Carolina and Oregon are set to square off in the Final Four. Let’s break down the matchup.

  3. osh Perkins #13 of the Gonzaga Bulldogs celebrateswith teammates in the second half against the Xavier Musketeers during the 2017 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament West Regional at SAP Center on March 25, 2017 in San Jose, California. Chris Silva #30 of the South Carolina Gamecocks reacts after a play against the Florida Gators in the second half during the 2017 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament East Regional at Madison Square Garden on March 26, 2017 in New York City.
    Final Four Tale: 1 Gonzaga Vs. 7 South Carolina

    Gonzaga and South Carolina are set to square off in the Final Four. Let’s break down the matchup.

See All Tales of the Tape

More From CBS New York

CELEBRATING 50 YEARS
Get Our Morning Briefs
Bloomberg WCBS Tri-State Business Index

Listen Live