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Cincinnati Bengals Defense Vs. Atlanta Falcons Offense: Big Fantasy Day For Matt Ryan Either Or Michael Turner

(Sports Network) – Atlanta was held to a season-low 293 yards last week and the offense seemed out of sync while playing mostly in catch-up mode. Perhaps the unit will perform a bit better in front of the home crowd as Atlanta begins a stretch of three straight games at the Georgia Dome. Quarterback Matt Ryan (1,415 passing yards, 9 TD, 4 INT) threw for 225 yards and two scores against Philadelphia and has a touchdown pass in five straight games. He has also thrown two or more scoring strikes in a game three times in 2010 and got wide receiver Michael Jenkins back in the fold Sunday. Jenkins, who missed most of training camp, all of the preseason and Atlanta’s first five games of the regular season because of a shoulder injury, had a 42-yard catch for his first reception and finished with five grabs for 99 yards. While the Eagles contained fellow wideout Roddy White (43 receptions, 546 yards, 3 TD), Jenkins had a big day and gives Ryan another weapon to work with. Tight end Tony Gonzalez (27 receptions, 3 TD) came away with two touchdown catches on Sunday. It was his first two-score performance in a Falcons uniform and 13th of his career. The team’s biggest concern was Michael Turner (466 rushing yards, 1 TD) struggling to find daylight, as he compiled just 45 yards on 15 carries. He only has one rushing touchdown this season and will face Cincinnati’s 18th- ranked run defense.

The big news coming out of the Bengals recently was the suspension of defensive end Antwan Odom for four games for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances. The NFL turned down his appeal, though Odom’s lawyer vehemently denied that his client took anything illegal. Odom hadn’t been doing much this season anyway, as he’s played in four games and has no sacks. He also suffered a knee injury in the loss to the Bucs. Michael Johnson (6 tackles, 1 sack) replaced Odom in the lineup and was just as ineffective. Defensive lineman Jon Fanene (1 tackle), out since Week 1 with a torn hamstring, returned to practice earlier this week, while the Bengals could activate rookie end Carlos Dunlap as well. The team is also scouring the wire for any free agents or practice players available. The defense better be prepared to see a lot of Turner after he was bottled up by the Eagles last week. Linebackers Dhani Jones (38 tackles), Keith Rivers (28 tackles, 1 sack) and Rey Maualuga (27 tackles, 1 sack) can take a piece out of Philly’s playbook to see how Turner was stopped so easily. The Bengals are 18th in run defense, yielding 111.0 yards per game, and Sunday’s loss was the first time in seven home games they allowed more than 13 points. Sacking the quarterback has been a problem since safety Chris Crocker (33 tackles, 2 sacks) leads the team in that category. Cincinnati has six sacks overall, tied for second- fewest in the league.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.