Tale Of The Tape: Cincinnati Bengals At Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals
Chicago Bears
(credit: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Jay Cutler. (credit: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(credit: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Jay Cutler. (credit: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Winner The Bengals are more than just a fashionable pick to make a good run at representing the AFC in the Super Bowl. They are very talented and quarterback Andy Dalton has made a steady climb up the ladder. He must continue to do so in 2013 if the Bengals are going to get there. He has the arm strength, quick release, accuracy and intelligence to get there.
The Bears are at a crucial point with Jay Cutler. He is in the last year of his contract and they want to see legitimate growth this year before they offer him a megabucks deal for the future. Cutler has all the physical tools and intelligence needed to succeed, but that hasn’t stopped him from making a slew of repeated mistakes over his career. If all goes well, the combination of Cutler and new head coach Marc Trestman should be formidable.
Winner The Bengals have a chance to be consistent and explosive this year. If that’s going to happen, they need to feature supremely talented wideout A.J. Green on an every-week basis. Hard working BenJarvus Green-Ellis is steady at the running back position, but rookie Gio Bernard has a chance to be a home run hitter. Tight end Jermaine Gresham is a difference maker.
The Bears have been hurt by offensive line inconsistencies for years and they are hoping that former Saint Jermon Bushrod will solidify the left tackle position. Brandon Marshall (hip) must show that he is healthy. Second-year wideout Alshon Jeffery looks to be one of the most improved receivers in the league. Matt Forte gives the Bears superb versatility out of the running back position.
The Bengals may have the best defensive tackle in the league in Geno Atkins. He can destroy the run and also rush the passer. Domata Peko is a solid complementary defensive lineman. Outside linebacker Vontaze Burfict is a hard hitter with a nasty streak. Leon Hall is a solid cornerback who has a tendency to gamble more than he should.
Winner The Bears have been one of the best defensive teams for years, but the changes in the coaching staff and the retirement of Brian Urlacher means that times are changing. New defensive coordinator Mel Tucker knows he can depend on DE Julius Peppers, LB Lance Briggs and CB Charles Tillman to anchor the defense once again.
Special Teams
Mike Nugent is an adequate kicker who made 19-of-23 FG attempts last year. However, he’s not one of the best in the league. Kevin Huber has a big leg and he averaged 46.6 yards per punt. Explosive Adam Jones has a chance to give the Bengals a decent return game.
Winner The Bears have been getting consistent kicking from Robbie Gould for years. He appears to be fully recovered after an injury cut his 2012 season short. Devin Hester has not been a gamebreaking return man for several seasons, but the Bears are expecting (hoping) he can return to form.

We'll Just Call it a Tie

(credit: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) Jay Cutler. (credit: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

This could be the best game of the opening weekend of the season. The Bengals should be a postseason team once again and could go a long way. The Bears are trying to build a cohesive offense under Trestman, and they will be put to the test, starting in this game. Strong safety Eric Berry is a big hitter who had 86 tackles last year, but he needs to make more plays on the ball.
-Steve Silverman, CBS Local Sports contributor


  1. Mike Vick #2 of the Pittsburgh Steelers.  (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images) Philip Rivers  of the San Diego Chargers (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
    Week 5 Tale Of The Tape: Pittsburgh Steelers At San Diego Chargers

    The high-powered Pittsburgh offense was a bit out of sync against the Ravens in Week Four without Ben Roethlisberger, but it seemed like Mike Vick was pretty close to finding success.

  2. Colin Kaepernick #7 of the San Francisco 49ers (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images) Giants quarterback Eli Manning. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
    Week 5 Tale Of The Tape: San Francisco 49ers At New York Giants

    Colin Kaepernick is under extreme pressure to produce at a high level. That has not been happening, and the 49ers are in danger of seeing their season fall apart.

  3. Peyton Manning (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) ST. LOUIS, MO - NOVEMBER 30: Derek Carr #4 of the Oakland Raiders passes against the St. Louis Rams in the second quarter at the Edward Jones Dome on November 30, 2014 in St. Louis, Missouri. The Rams beat the Raiders 52-0.
    Week 5 Tale Of The Tape: Denver Broncos At Oakland Raiders

    Peyton Manning appears to have come to terms with the deficiencies in his game at this point. He can no longer whistle the ball downfield at the last minute, and some medium-range passes are difficult as well.

See All Tales of the Tape