Broncos at Bengals Preview

DENatCIN.jpg

TIME: 8:30 p.m. Monday
PLACE:  Paul Brown Stadium (Synthetic)
LOCAL RADIO: Play-by-play Dan Hoard and analyst Dave Lapham led by "Triple Cast," 700-AM WLW, 1530-AM ESPN and 102.7-FM WEBN on the 25-station Bengals radio network.
NATIONAL RADIO: Westwood One Radio Network Kevin Harlan play-by-play, Kurt Warner analyst, Laura Okmin sideline reporter.  
TV: ESPN team of Mike Tirico play-by-play, Jon Gruden analyst, Lisa Salters sideline reporter. Also airing on Cincinnati's Channel 5

INJURIES
CIN
DOUBTFUL: starting SAM backer Emmanuel Lamur (hamstring). Returned to practice Saturday limited after leaving last Sunday's game;  WR James Wright (knee) worked for the first time since getting hurt Nov. 30 in Tampa and was also limited.

DEN: *
*
OUT:
starting WLB Danny Trevathan (knee), starting MLB Brandon Marshall (foot)
THE REST: Starting left tackle Ryan Clady has been limited most of the week and looks questionable. Backup RB Ronnie Hillman (foot) may return after missing the last month or so. Starting QB Peyton Manning (thigh) was limited all week, classified as questionable but expected to play.

THE SERIES
11-3 Broncos lead 9-4-1 Bengals, 19-8, 7-6 in Cincinnati, 3-2 at PBS.

NOTEWORTHY
» The Bengals can clinch an AFC Wild Card berth Monday with a victory over Denver for their fourth straight post-season appearance.

» The Bengals could clinch Sunday if Buffalo (at Oakland), the Chiefs (at Pittsburgh), and Chargers (at San Francisco) lose.

» The Bengals could clinch their second straight AFC North title  with a win over Denver and a Pittsburgh loss to Kansas City and a Baltimore loss in Houston.

» The Bengals have the two toughest remaining games for the AFC North title. Their foes are a combined 20-8. The Ravens' are 14-14 and Pittsburgh's are 17-10-1.

» Unless the Bills, Chiefs, or Chargers win out, the Bengals still make the playoffs if they lose the last two games.

» The last time the Bengals played Denver when they needed a win to go to the playoffs was on Christmas Eve, 2006. The Bengals came from behind to apparently tie the game with 41 seconds left at Mile High on Carson Palmer's 10-yard TD pass to T.J. Houshmandzadeh, but the extra point was botched and the Bengals lost, 24-23.

» Broncos WR Andre Caldwell, a third-round pick of the Bengals in 2008, has five catches for 47 yards this season. He was huge in the Bengals' AFC North sweep of '09, when he scored last-minute TDs to beat Pittsburgh and Baltimore.

» Not only is Broncos QB Peyton Manning 8-0 vs. the Bengals, but John Elway, the Broncos' top football exec, was 7-0 against them.

NFL RANKINGS
CIN: 16th in scoring, 13th in offense (6th rushing, 23rd passing); 10th in scoring defense, 20th in defense (24th  rushing, 11th passing), T-19th in turnover margin at minus-2.

DEN: 5th in scoring, 4th in offense (16th rushing, 4th passing); 16th in scoring defense, 4th in defense (2nd  rushing, 16th passing), 9th  in turnover margin at plus-6.

COACHES
CIN: Marvin Lewis 99-94-2 in 12th season, 1-5 vs. Broncos
DEN:  John Fox in fourth season at Denver at 48-20, 13th overall at 126-94, 3-2 vs Bengals, 2-2 vs. Lewis

WEATHER
The National Weather Service in Wilmington, Ohio is calling for 44 degrees at kickoff and it will barely drop during the game. There's a 20 percent chance of rain with a slight wind out of the south and east at seven miles per hour.

NUMBERS GAME

56-37-2 - Bengals at home under Marvin Lewis

28-21 - Bengals December record under Lewis

9-4 - Bengals record in December home games in the last five years.

11-5 - Bengals QB Andy Dalton's record in December games

5-3 - Dalton's record in home December games

9-0 - Dalton's record in December when Bengals run it at least 30 times

5.0 - Bengals rookie RB Jeremy Hill's yards per carry

5.3 - Bengals rookie RB Ickey Woods' yards per carry in 1988

202 - Hill's projected carries for 2014

203 - Woods' carries in 1988

123 - Yards Hill needs in last two games to become Bengals' first 1,000-yard rusher since Corey Dillon in 1997

41 - Yards Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green needs for 1,000

1 - Interceptions safety George Iloka needs to become first Bengal with four picks in a season since cornerback Leon Hall in 2010.

20 - TDs Broncos QB Peyton Manning has thrown in eight starts vs. the Bengals

15 - TD passes for Bengals QB Andy Dalton in 14 games this season

 2.23 - Average seconds it takes for Manning to throw in the pocket, fastest in the NFL, according to ProFootballFocus.com.

2.37 - Average seconds it takes Dalton to throw in the pocket, second fastest and tied with New England's Tom Brady, according to PFF.

1 - Denver's ranking in NFL allowing sacks per pass

31 - Bengals' ranking in NFL generating sacks per pass

67 - Average yards rushing Broncos have allowed in last four games

145 - Average yards rushing for Bengals in last four games

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