TALE OF THE TAPE

Week 3 Tale Of The Tape: Denver Broncos At Cincinnati Bengals

Denver Broncos
Cincinnati Bengals
DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 18:  Outside linebacker Von Miller #58 of the Denver Broncos watches the ball after striping quarterback Andrew Luck #12 of the Indianapolis Colts in the fourth quarter of the game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on September 18, 2016 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 18:  Giovani Bernard #25 of the Cincinnati Bengals rushes against Artie Burns #25 of the Pittsburgh Steelers in the second half during the game at Heinz Field on September 18, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 18: Outside linebacker Von Miller #58 of the Denver Broncos watches the ball after striping quarterback Andrew Luck #12 of the Indianapolis Colts in the fourth quarter of the game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on September 18, 2016 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 18: Giovani Bernard #25 of the Cincinnati Bengals rushes against Artie Burns #25 of the Pittsburgh Steelers in the second half during the game at Heinz Field on September 18, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
Quarterback
The Trevor Siemian era has gotten off to a sharp start as the former Northwestern quarterback looks like he belongs under center in the NFL. The theory may be that he is just holding onto the job until Paxton Lynch is ready, Siemian looks like he has gotten a different script. He is reading defenses well and finding open receivers.
Winner The Bengals played a tough and competitive game in Week Two at Pittsburgh, but the Pittsburgh defense kept Andy Dalton from coming through and leading the Bengals to the road win. Dalton has another major test this week, and while he will be more comfortable at home, the Broncos defense will put the pressure on him and he will be tested throughout the game.
Offense
The Broncos have a first-class running game with C.J. Anderson leading the way. He relies on quickness to run away from tacklers, but he can also bust through linebackers and defensive backs on occasion. Demaryius Thomas is a big-play receiver, and he is starting to develop a rapport with Siemian. Emmanuel Sanders is a dangerous No. 2 receiver.
Winner The Bengals will try to soften up the Denver defense with their two-pronged running attack that includes Jeremy Hill and Giovanni Bernard. While Hill has plenty of power and Bernard has fine quick moves, they are not likely to have a lot of success here. A.J. Green is one of the game’s most dangerous receivers, while former Patriot Brandon LaFell is still trying to fit in.
Defense
Winner The Broncos may not be a Super Bowl team, but don’t try advancing that concept to their defense, which remains dominant. It all begins with Von Miller’s ability to make big plays and intimidate opposing quarterbacks. Aqib Talib is a dogged cover man who is capable of coming up with the key pass deflection or interception. He had a pick-six vs. the Colts in Week Two.
Geno Atkins is a powerful block of a man who is nearly impossible to move when he is fully engaged in stopping the opponent’s running game. He gets a boost from fellow lineman Domata Peko, who lacks Atkins physical talent but is a very hard worker. Dre Kirkpatrick and Adam Jones are very solid cover men who can come through with big plays when the game is on the line.
Special Teams
Winner The Broncos have been an up-and-down team when it comes to their coverage units, and this is something that needs to be tightened up this year. Brandon McManus is a decent placekicker but he is not special.
Winner The Bengals have excellent special-teams weapons and can break open a game when Jones takes a punt return with reckless abandon. He is one of the fastest and most courageous returners in the game. Mike Nugent has proven to be a dependable placekicker.

The Winner Is

PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 18:  Giovani Bernard #25 of the Cincinnati Bengals rushes against Artie Burns #25 of the Pittsburgh Steelers in the second half during the game at Heinz Field on September 18, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
Winner Cincinnati Bengals
3 out of 4

The Bengals are the more talented team at this point, but the Denver defense is capable of taking over any game. The home team should come away with the win, but it would not be a shocker if the defending Super Bowl champions rose up with a memorable effort.

MORE TALES OF THE TAPE

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  3. PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 18: Xavier Grimble #85 of the Pittsburgh Steelers celebrates his touchdown with Ben Roethlisberger #7 in the first quarter during the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Heinz Field on September 18, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 19:  Quarterback Carson Wentz #11 of the Philadelphia Eagles hands off the football to Ryan Mathews #24 in the first half against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on September 19, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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