Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow couldn't wait to hit the practice field this week.
It is early in Burrow's NFL career, but the first-year signal caller has shown great propensity for learning from his mistakes and bouncing back in a big way.
Take for instance Week 1 where the Los Angeles Chargers held Burrow to 193 yards passing and zero passing touchdowns. Burrow and company made the adjustments and went for 316 yards and three scores the next week against the Cleveland Browns. The same thing happened after the Baltimore Ravens held Burrow to a season-low 183 yards passing. Burrow came back against the Indianapolis Colts with 313 passing yards.
As Burrow and the Bengals look to bounce back again this week, here are the three things to watch in Week 11 against another former No. 1 overall pick, Alex Smith, and the Washington Football Team.
1. The Pass Rush - There is a lot of talent on both defensive lines, but it will be interesting to see if the Bengals boost their production with a favorable matchup against Washington's offensive line. Washington has allowed 30 sacks this season, the fourth-most in the NFL. It's a nice setup for the Bengals pass rushers like Carl Lawson and Sam Hubbard to get back on track. Lawson leads the Bengals with 3.5 sacks and has created havoc with 12 quarterback hits in the last three games.
Meanwhile, Washington's defensive line is its strength. Led by Chase Young, Montez Sweat, Jonathan Allen and Ryan Kerrigan (all first-round picks), Washington ranks fifth in the NFL with 28 sacks. Eight different Washington defenders have at least 2.0 sacks. Washington also has the league's No. 1 passing defense (194.7 yards per game). It will be another challenge for a Bengals offensive line that is getting healthy at the right time.
2. Get To 100 - As good as Washington's pass defense has been, opponents have gashed them on the ground. Washington is 0-7 this season when opponents rush for 100 or more yards, but have won both games holding teams under the century mark.
That's good news for the Bengals who have rushed for over 100 yards in the previous two games and are averaging 109 yards per game on the ground in their last four. Running backs Giovani Bernard and Samaje Perine have filled in admirably for the injured Joe Mixon averaging almost 4.0 yards per carry the last three games. There are big plays to be had on the ground and look for the Bengals to continue having success rushing the football.
3. Season of Giving - The Bengals had nine takeaways in a seven game stretch, but failed to get one last week against Pittsburgh. However at Washington, the Bengals will have their chances to get back on the turnover train.
Washington ranks fifth in the NFL with 16 turnovers and their nine fumbles lost are the second-most in the league. The Bengals are 2-2-1 in the Zac Taylor era with a plus turnover differential, so finding a way on defense and special teams will be a key point of emphasis.
Kickoff: 1 p.m. Eastern.
Television: The game will air on CBS-TV. In the Bengals' home region, it will be carried by WKRC-TV (Ch. 12) in Cincinnati, WHIO-TV (Ch. 7) in Dayton and on WKYT-TV (Ch. 27) in Lexington. Broadcasters are Spero Dedes (play-byplay) and Adam Archuleta (analyst).
Radio: The game will air on the Bengals Radio Network, led by Cincinnati flagship stations WLW-AM (700), WCKY-AM (ESPN 1530; all sports) and WEBN-FM (102.7). Broadcasters are Dan Hoard (play-by-play) and Dave Lapham (analyst).