WR Jake Kumerow - Cincinnati Bengals
|6-5, 195||Born: 2-17-1992||College: Wisconsin-Whitewater||Drafted: ---|
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Week 7: at Pittsburgh Steelers
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FBG says: Tough matchup. New coordinator Bill Lazor has been a godsend for Andy Dalton and the Bengals pass game. Since Lazor's Week 3 promotion, Dalton's completion rate has jumped from 55% to 81%, and his adjusted net yards per attempt, which factors in sacks and interceptions, has leapt from a near-impossible 1.33 to a robust 9.13. (It's no coincidence that Dalton has thrown six touchdowns over these last three games after none in the first two.) Lazor's scheme calls for Dalton to release the ball much quicker, which has always been Dalton's biggest strength and neutralizes the effect of the awful Bengals line. Dalton is now free to target A.J. Green confidently and effectively, and to utilize receiving backs Giovani Bernard and Joe Mixon in a designed fashion, not just desperate check-downs. They'll face their toughest challenge yet this Sunday, but the arrow is definitely pointing up.
The Steelers pass defense has been truly dominant, riding an explosive pass rush to become the league's best unit in terms of net yardage per attempt (which factors in sacks). They've allowed just 4 touchdown passes through 6 weeks - second-fewest in the league - and have yet to give up more than 246 yards in a game. But let's not crown them quite yet. Thus far they've faced only DeShone Kizer, Case Keenum, Mike Glennon, Joe Flacco, Blake Bortles, and Alex Smith. Their Week 6 showing was impressive, for sure, forcing the suddenly-dynamic Smith and his big-play Kansas City offense into their worst day yet. But it's still hard to truly grade this unit and apply it going forward; we've yet to see them face a truly prolific passing game. If Andy Dalton and the Bengals keep up their success with quick-hitting yet high-impact routes, they can find some exploitable holes - especially in Joe Haden's coverage. It's not wise to invest much into passing games against the Steelers, but we can't yet be sure if this is a prohibitive unit. Dalton's performance will go a fairly long way in drawing that conclusion.
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