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How do the Broncos match up with the Bengals?

I spoke with Joe Goodberry to find out on this week’s Cover 2 Broncos.

The last time the Denver Broncos and Cincinnati Bengals played a meaningful game in December DeMarcus Ware ran down A.J. McCarron’s fumbled snap to secure a playoff bid for the No Fly Zone. It’s been mostly down years and rebuilding since, which only adds to the excitement this week. Both Cincy and Denver need a victory to stay alive in the playoff race, and both teams still have a chance at their best season since that 2015 campaign.

To dig into this Bengals’ squad I reached out to Joe Goodberry for this week’s Cover 2 Broncos. An overview of the topics we discussed are below.

Bengals’ offense vs Broncos’ defense

  • All signs point to Burrow being a franchise quarterback and there’s the makings of a really strong supporting cast around him. What stands out about the 2020 first overall pick is how aggressive he is with the ball and the way he’s able to throw guys open with anticipation. He’s advanced beyond his years when it comes to reading and working off the defense. How will Taylor and Burrow try to dice up the Broncos’ secondary?
  • Chase vs. Sewell was a huge debate throughout the Bengals’ draft process and there remains corners where some continue to question it with Chase leading the NFL in dropped passes with 10. Chase also has 10 TDs, 15 20+ yard catches on the season, including 6 for 40+. With that said, did passing on Sewell leave the OL in sorry shape?
  • At the end of the day sacks are a QB sack, is it at all concerning that Burrow’s once again taking sacks at one of the highest rates in the league?
  • How can the Broncos attack the Bengals pass protection and hurry/hit Burrow?
  • The Broncos have had issues against teams with the personnel to run the ball between the tackles all season. They’re also woefully inefficient when it comes to stopping opposing rushing attacks around the goal line. Cincy’s one of the two best redzone rushing teams in the league by DVOA, how will Joe Mixon find success this week?
Coverages used against Joe Burrow this season
Ryan Weisman / The Kneeldown

Extra Points

Cincy plays 94% of snaps out of 11/12 (74% 11)

Ran on 36% of 11 personnel snaps

Ran on 71% of 12 personnel snaps

13 is only other grouping with 10+ plays.

Bengals Offense By DVOA

  • 24th by passing
  • 20nd rushing
  • Easiest past schedule
  • 22nd in variance (inconsistent)
The Bengals run concept usage.
Ryan Weisman / The Kneeldown

Bengals offensive line by Adjusted Line Yards

  • 13th by ALY
  • 2nd worst in power success
  • Stuffs on 17% of runs (15th)
  • 11th in second level
  • 16th in open field

ALY ranks by direction

  • 18thst off left end (11% of carries)
  • 9th off left tackle (16% of carries)
  • 22nd mid/guard (44% of carries)
  • 13th off right tackle (18% of carries)
  • 8th off right end (12% of carries)
Broncos’ coverage usage this season.
Ryan Weisman / The Kneeldown

Broncos’ offense vs Bengals’ defense

  • After a pretty strong start to the season, Bridgewater’s been shaky the last month. I suspect he’s playing through an injury in a contract year (Concussion in Baltimore, suffered lower body injuries in week 3 and week 12) and it’s limiting his ability to plant and drive with the velocity he needs to consistently beat windows outside the hashes. That could be problematic as the Bengals revamped secondary has the personnel to match up with Denver’s receiving trio.

Cincy’s weakest defending the middle of the field, but that could also expose Teddy balls to Jessie Bates, who’s been a very good centerfielder throughout his career.

  • Trey Hendrickson and Sam Hubbard have been generating a lot of pressure this season. How can the Broncos slow them down?
  • What is the best way to attack this Cincy defense?
Coverages used against Teddy Bridgewater this season.
Ryan Weisman / The Kneeldown

Extra Points

  • The Broncos play a little less 90% of their snaps out of 11 or 12 personnel. The next most used grouping is 13, but they dabble in 21, and 22 and could use it in this game.
  • Broncos have a ton of issues with allowing stuffs, but they’re good in power situations and a top 5 rushing team at the second level. If they can get Javonte Williams and Melvin Gordon past the LOS they could be running for awhile.
  • Bengals are quite aggressive on third down and will mug LOS and send extra bodies.

Bengals Defense by DVOA

  • 11th overall, 18th weighted
  • 18th pass
  • 10th run
  • 11th in variance (consistent)
  • 20th past schedule
Broncos’ run concept usage this season.
Ryan Weisman / The Kneeldown

Digging into the Bengals’ front by Adjusted Line Yards

  • 5th by ALY
  • 27th in power success
  • Stuffs on 19% of runs (12th)
  • 12th defending second level
  • 25th defending open field

ALY ranks by direction

  • 24th off left end
  • 10th off left tackle
  • 4th mid/guard
  • 2nd right tackle
  • 19th right end


  • 16th vs WR1s
  • 21st vs WR2s
  • 8th vs WR3+
  • 27th vs TEs
  • 15th vs RBs

DVOA RANK Vs. Pass directions

  • 6th vs passes to left
  • 28th vs passes to middle
  • 17th vs passes to right
  • 19th vs deep passes
  • 19th vs short passes
Bengals coverage usage this season.
Ryan Weisman / The Kneeldown

Special Teams