TE Darius Hill - Cincinnati Bengals

6-6, 236Born: 8-26-1985College: Ball StateDrafted: ---

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Week 3: at Buffalo Bills

All TE vs BUF

FBG says: Bad matchup. Thus far, the debut of new coach and offensive guru Zac Taylor has brought a mixed bag of results. The offensive pace is way up - these Bengals are running nine plays more per game than last year's version - but efficiency hasn't followed. Andy Dalton looked sharp in Week 1, completing 35 of 51 passes for 418 yards and 2 touchdowns. But things fell apart last Sunday, with Dalton looking out of sorts and struggling to make plays down the field. Prior to a long garbage-time touchdown, Dalton had mustered just 245 yards over 41 attempts (an anemic 6.0 average). The team is determined to feed the ball to speedy wideout John Ross in space, sometimes to a fault. Ross has generated a handful of huge plays, including two long touchdowns in the opener and a 66-yard catch-and-run last Sunday. But he remains quite raw as a full-time weapon, struggling with drops and ball control. Tyler Boyd is still the primary option here, working mostly on tough slot routes over the middle. He's a dependable target, and like Ross, he's capable of making things happen on the run. Unfortunately, this attack is too often hampered by one of the league's worst pass-blocking lines. Left tackle Cordy Glenn may return Sunday, but that wouldn't be enough to keep Dalton upright and comfortable. Even though there are some intriguing pieces in place, this is a volatile unit that's difficult to trust. A date with the Bills' smothering secondary isn't ideal at this point in its development. The Buffalo pass defense hasn't been truly tested yet, opening the year against two shaky passing games in in-state matchups. Still, it seems clear this unit hasn't lost its 2018 magic. The Bills boast a strong pass rush, one of the league's best cornerback duos, and a solid set of safeties on the back end. TreDavious White has developed into one of the game's premier cover men, capable of both smothering receivers and making plays on the ball. Levi Wallace has been great on the other side, so working the boundaries is exceptionally tough in this matchup. White and Wallace don't move around the formation, though, and neither will follow Bengals slot man Tyler Boyd inside. That leaves a glaring mismatch for slot specialists Kevin Johnson and Siran Neal, but they'll get support from safeties Jordan Poyer and Micah Hyde, who are both skilled in help coverage. Overall, it's not easy for any passing game to find success in this matchup. The retooling Bengals are not strong candidates to buck that trend.

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Schedule

3@ Buffalo Bills
4@ Pittsburgh Steelers
5vs Arizona Cardinals
6@ Baltimore Ravens
7vs Jacksonville Jaguars
8@ Los Angeles Rams
9--- BYE WEEK ---
10vs Baltimore Ravens
11@ Oakland Raiders
12vs Pittsburgh Steelers
13vs New York Jets
14@ Cleveland Browns
15vs New England Patriots
16@ Miami Dolphins
17vs Cleveland Browns