Cincinnati Bengals rookie tight end Tyler Eifert Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Bengals Tight ends Tyler Eifert and Jermaine Gresham Present Problems for Packers

Bengals tight end Jermaine Graham.
Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

 

The two-headed Cincinnati Bengals tight end attack of rookie Tyler Eifert and Jermaine Gresham could present more of a problem for the Green Bay Packers’ defense than wide receiver A.J. Green.

There are two main reasons for this.

First, Bengals QB Andy Dalton has targeted his young tight ends early and often. About 37 percent of Dalton’s completions have gone to his tight ends. That is the highest percentage of completions to tight ends in the NFL thus far.

These tight ends are Dalton’s safety valve and he uses them often. It is likely that the Packers secondary is going to key on Green. They are figuring that Dalton will have to beat us with other players. They are not likely to let Green beat them by himself. Paying attention to Green puts more pressure on the safeties and inside linebackers for the Packers.

Brad Jones, Jerron McMillan, Chris Banjo and M.D. Jennings are going to be responsible for patrolling the inside seams and middle of the field. That is where Eifert and Gresham are likely to set up shop. Since Andy Dalton is generally a pocket passer, the Packers’ defensive backs can play more man coverage. However, Dalton is still young. Dom Capers’ defensive looks could confuse the young Cincy quarterback if the coverage is mixed and blitz packages are effective. The best thing for Green Bay is to get to Dalton … and quickly.

Second, the two-tight end set could help the running game of rookie running back Giovani Bernard and BenJarvis Green-Ellis.  The Bengals tight ends are underrated run blockers and this running back tandem has been increasingly effective. B.J. Raji and Ryan Pickett will need to hold the middle and linebacker Nick Perry will need to hold the edge. It does not help Cincinnati’s cause to get into a shootout with Green Bay. It helps them to slow the game down and keep the ball away from Aaron Rodgers and Co.

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Tags: Cincinnati Bengals Green Bay Packers Jermaine Gresham Tyler Elfert

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