The Cincinnati Bengals, at 5-9-1, have their worst record since the 2010 season (4-12). They will be visited by the Baltimore Ravens on New Year’s Day for the last game of the season. Lets be honest, though, this game means nothing. Both the Ravens and Bengals have been eliminated from playoff contention and are locked in at second and third place in the AFC North, respectively. So, since the match-up on Sunday is essentially only important in regards to the draft order, how can the Bengals take advantage of one last game?
The Cody Core Experiment
Last week, it was clear that the Bengals wanted to see what Cody Core was made of. Core was targeted 14 times, 7 of those in the first quarter. The experiment turned out successful, as he racked in eight of those passes. The reason why the Bengals were so adamant about getting Cody Core looks is unclear. Perhaps they are trying to show his value so they can trade him in the offseason; or perhaps they want to incorporate him into their offense if they’re not planning on resigning Brandon LaFell. Whatever the reason, they should do it again this Sunday.
Rex Burkhead and Jeremy Hill
Earlier this week, I wrote an article in which I argued that Rex Burkhead should take the starting spot from Jeremy Hill and I still stand behind that. At least for this weekend. Hill’s performance has been lackluster (8 yards on 7 rushes against the Houston Texans). If the decision were up to me, I would deactivate the already questionable RB and make him stew over his performance through the off-season.
Figure Out the Offensive Line
If you have to pick one reason as to why the Bengals were 5-9-1, it would likely be because of the abysmal play of the offensive line. The entire line hasn’t been terrible, though. In fact, the play of Andrew Whitworth, Clint Boling and Kevin Zeitler have been sufficient. The weakest links are Cedric Ogbuehi and Russell Bodine. It’s clear that if Ogbuehi doesn’t work in this lineup, so they tried him out at a different position against the Texans. The Bengals should fiddle around with the lineup, throwing Jake Fisher in and moving Ogbuehi around until they find a fit that works.