The Bengals enter Week 9 coming off a bye week and three consecutive losses. With a 3-4 record, Cincinnati is in third place in the AFC North and is looking to get back on track at home against the Broncos.
“We feel like we need to come out and we need to get a win,” quarterback Andy Dalton said in a conference call Wednesday. “We have had three losses in a row but we’ve got to find a way to turn that around. This is a make-or-break part of the season. We’ve got to really come out and play our best.”
Dalton said a key for the offense on Sunday will be to establish consistency in its possessions. A problem throughout the recent losing skid has been that the Bengals have strung together long, efficient drives but followed them up with several three-and-outs.
“That can’t happen,” he said. “We just need to be more consistent, that’s the biggest thing.”
Another priority for the Bengals offense is to limit the impact that the Broncos’ edge rushers make on the football game. Linebacker Von Miller and defensive end Elvis Dumervil have combined for 11 sacks in seven contests, but Cincinnati Head Coach Marvin Lewis is hoping his experienced offensive tackles can keep the pair of Pro Bowlers from constantly disturbing Dalton.
“It’s going to be a big matchup,” Lewis said in a separate conference call. “Those guys are big players. You have to have some different plans of attack when you’re playing good edge rushers.”
While tackles Andre Smith and Andrew Whitworth, former first and second-round picks respectively, have combined for more than 100 starts in the NFL, Dalton said it will be necessary to help them out against Denver.
“You have to find ways to chip them, or get two guys on them,” he said. “Whatever we can do to slow those guys down.”