Skip to main content

Cincinnati Bengals vs San Francisco 49ers: Keys to Victory

Cincinnati is hoping to make a playoff push starting on Sunday at Paul Brown Stadium.
  • Author:
  • Publish date:

The Bengals need to bounce back on Sunday following a sloppy loss to the Chargers in Week 13. They’re still in the mix for a playoff spot and a win over the 49ers is crucial in their quest to continue their journey to the postseason promise land.

Here are three keys to victory:

Take Care of the Football

Joe Burrow has thrown 14 interceptions this season and while they aren't all his fault, he’s got to be crisper over the next five games. The 49ers will be on the hunt for takeaways on Sunday knowing that the Bengals are 0-4 when Burrow throws two or more interceptions. Cincinnati is 7-1 when he throws one interception or less.

Turnovers are not just a Burrow problem, they’re a team problem and multiple mistakes in this area almost always lead to a loss.

Getting Trey Hopkins and Riley Reiff back on Sunday should help immensley against Nick Bosa and company.

Stop George Kittle

If George Kittle is as involved Sunday as he was last week against Seattle, it could be a tough game for Cincinnati defensively. Kittle exploded for nine receptions, 181 yards, and two touchdowns with Deebo Samuel out with a groin injury. Even if Samuel plays this week (questionable), he likely won’t be playing at 100% health. Now that Kittle seems to be fully recovered from the calf injury he sustained in Week 1, he will be their featured weapon and Bengals fans will not want to see him flourish like he did a week ago.

Related: All Bengals Staff Shares Picks for Sunday's Game Against 49ers

Get Creative

Burrow’s dislocated pinkie finger didn’t appear to slow him down in practice this week, which is good for Zac Taylor’s crew. The Bengals' talented receiving corps has an opportunity to make big plays on Sunday. Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd could all have exceptional games against a questionable 49ers’ secondary.

Emmanuel Moseley left the game in Seattle with a high ankle sprain and rookie Deommodore Lenoir was next in line to replace him and struggled last week in coverage in the first half. Kyle Shanahan then went with veteran cornerback Dontae Johnson at the beginning of the second half. Johnson did not travel with the team to Cincinnati due to a personal matter and is listed as questionable on the 49ers injury report.

San Francisco was clearly unimpressed with Lenoir so we could see rookie Ambry Thomas competing for playing time. There’s a good chance they rely on their zone defense with so many question marks at cornerbacl. Taylor and Burrow have an opportunity to be creative offensively and put pressure on the 49ers' injury riddled defense, especially with an explosive playmaker like Chase. 

For more on Sunday's matchup, watch the video below. 

Make sure you bookmark All Bengals for the latest NFL news, exclusive interviews, film breakdowns and so much more!

You May Also Like:

All Bengals Staff Shares Picks for Sunday's Game Against 49ers

Watch: Joe Burrow Resumes Practice, Bengals Getting Healthier

Ken Anderson Weighs in on Ja'Marr Chase's Struggles

Bengals' Defense Could Get Boost With Trae Waynes

Film Room: How Defenses Are Stopping Chase and How the Bengals Can Adjust

Trae Waynes and D'Ante Smith Cleared to Practice

Did Justin Herbert Outplay Joe Burrow? Former NFL QB Weighs In

AFC Playoff Breakdown: Where the Bengals Stand After Week 13 Loss

Three Down Look at the Bengals' Loss to the Chargers

Scroll to Continue

Read More

In Depth Breakdown of Bengals' Showcase: My Cause, My Cleats

Winners and Losers Following the Bengals' Loss to the Chargers

Zac Taylor Takes Blame After Loss to Chargers

Postgame Observations: Bengals Lose to Chargers 41-22

Burrow vs Herbert: Former Steelers Great Weighs in on Debate

NFL Analyst Weighs in on Joe Burrow vs Justin Herbert Debate

Joe Burrow on Short List of Comeback Player of the Year Candidates

Ja'Marr Chase's Rookie of the Year Odds Continue to Drop

Film Room: Breakdown of the Bengals' Most Important Play on Offense

Zac Taylor's Coach of the Year Odds Continue to Increase

Bengals Move Up In Power Rankings Following Win Over Steelers

Zac Taylor Praises Joe Burrow's Toughness

Jonah Williams Weighs in on T.J. Watt's Block on Joe Burrow

Five Takeaways From the Bengals' Win Over the Steelers

National Columnist Praises Bengals Following Win Over Steelers

Three Thoughts on the Bengals' Win Over the Steelers

Winners and Losers From the Bengals' Win Over the Steelers

Three Things Every Bengals Fan Can Be Thankful For This Thanksgiving

Cincinnati Bengals Players Give Back This Thanksgiving

Film Breakdown: How the Bengals' Defense Righted the Ship in Vegas

Six Takeaways From the Bengals' Win Over the Raiders

Three Down Look at the Bengals' Win Over the Raiders

-----

Be sure to keep it locked on All Bengals all the time!

Subscribe to the All Bengals YouTube channel
Follow AllBengals on Twitter: @AllBengals

Like and follow All Bengals on Facebook