Two overrated and banged up Defenses can only mean one thing as Fabian Sommer breaks down the NFL Week 14 clash between 49ers vs Bengals!
We are back with a total for NFL Week 14 and are looking to end this season positively for this column.
The offense of the San Francisco 49ers is red-hot right now, and the loss at Seattle should not distract us from that fact.
In that game, San Fran had two interceptions, a fumble, and a turnover on downs at the goal line after a 95-yard.
Since the lousy weather game against the Colts in week seven, Jimmy Garoppolo and company rank 1st in:
- 1st in yards per play
- 7th in success rate
Jimmy G has the highest PFF passing grade over that stretch at 82.0, 2.4 points ahead of the 2nd-ranked Tom Brady.
A lot of that collides with the return of TE George Kittle – statistically speaking, the offense has been night and day without him.
WR Deebo Samuel is likely just 50/50 to play as of Friday morning. He would be a welcomed bonus against Cincy.
The Bengals’ defense made a lot of headlines this season, but I think they are a little bit overrated at this point.
They haven’t produced stellar efficiency metrics while playing one of the easiest schedules in the leagues.
They have faced two top-10 offenses by DVOA and EPA/play, the Packers and the Chargers.
- Green Bay scored 22 points in regulation while missing two field goals
- The Chargers hammered the Bengals last week
LB Logan Wilson, their defensive leader, and play-caller will be out. Trey Hendrickson, the Bengals’ best pass rusher, exclusively lines up on the right side of the defensive line and will face LT Trent Williams, arguably the best tackle in the game right now.
Additionally, the Bengals defense ranks 29th in DVOA on passes over the middle of the field, which is the area that the 49ers attack by far the most.
This is a good matchup for the 49ers, and we should instead be surprised if their offense struggles mightily against the Bengals.
They might not have a single established running back available, which could force Kyle Shanahan into a more pass-heavy offensive approach.
On the other side, the Bengals also face matchup advantages against the 49ers’ defense.
There’s a good chance that center Trey Hopkins and RT Riley Reiff will be back this week after their absences against the Bolts.
The 49ers’ defense ranks 3rd in DVOA against the run but 17th against the pass.
When we strip out turnovers, they rank 22nd in EPA/dropback. Against Seattle, they lost Emmanuel Moseley, their best cornerback. That leaves them with a group that consists of Josh Norman, K’Waun Williams, Dontae Johnson, and rookie Deommodore Lenoir.
That’s a very underwhelming group of coverage defenders, especially when they face the trio of Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, and Tyler Boyd.
Joe Burrow should be able to pick his matchups all game long.
The Bengals went more pass-heavy on early downs against teams like the Ravens or Browns, who have a good run defense. That should be the right approach against the Niners.
Burrow is dealing with a dislocated pinky finger, but I’m not overly concerned. After the first series against the Chargers, he got injured and still rallied his team to 22 points and 280 passing yards during the process. He said he should be good to go on Sunday, throwing the ball in practice on Thursday.
Neither defense defends the pass very well, and both offenses should have enough firepower to put scoring pressure on the opposing team.
I can see a healthy back-and-forth Week 14 tie with a final score that could easily touch the low 50s.
Recommended Bet: 49ers vs Bengals Over 49.5 (2.04)
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