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Redskins-Bengals preview: Jay Gruden Battles His Former Team Overseas

It is not a must-win quite yet, but it is close to it as the 4-3 Redskins head to London

Matchup: Washington Redskins (4-3) vs. Cincinnati Bengals (3-4)

Kickoff: Sunday, October 30, 9:30 AM EDT

Location: Wembley Stadium

Television: FOX (Kenny Albert, John Lynch, Pam Oliver)

Radio: Redskins Radio Network and Westwood One Sports

Odds: Bengals (-3), O/U: 47.5

Social media: Twitter: @BreakBurgundyFacebook

Last Week: Washington saw their four-game winning streak come to an end in Detroit, while Cincinnati beat Cleveland.

Matchup History: Washington trails the all-time series 4-5 including a 38-31 loss in 2012 when a comeback attempt fell short.

2016 Rankings: (Yards Gained/Allowed):

Washington – Offense (5th); Defense (20th)

Cincinnati – Offense (6th); Defense (15th)

Cincinnati’s Strength: The Bengals have one of the best defensive lines in football starting with run stuffing Geno Atkins and ending with pass rushing Carlos Dunlap. Atkins is a havoc-wrecker at 300 pounds, while Dunlap has already recorded five sacks through seven games. Cincinnati has not been the greatest run stopping defense in the league but they will certainly put an up-and-coming Washington offensive line to the test across the pond.

Cincinnati’s Weakness: There is not a true glaring weakness for the Bengals, but the secondary is probably furthest away from being a strength. Cincinnati has revamped their secondary after Leon Hall and Reggie Nelson left in free agency. With rookie William Jackson III on injured reserve with a torn pectoral, the Bengals have limited depth.  Adam Jones and George Iloka are notable names, but it is the inexperience of Shawn Williams, Darqueze Dennard, and Josh Shaw in the Bengals secondary that the Redskins could exploit. Another knock on the Cincinnati defense is their third fewest (3) forced fumbles in the league.

Coachspeak: Jay Gruden served on the Bengals coaching staff under current Cincinnati head coach Marvin Lewis from 2011-13 and helped mentor quarterback Andy Dalton entering the NFL: "I have the utmost respect for (Owner/GM) Mike Brown and Marvin, obviously. They gave me a great opportunity and I had a lot of fun over there. So, yeah, it’s going to be special to see those guys again. We did a lot of great things over there, we thought, but come game time it’s going to be another game that we have to win. We have got to find a way to win. They’re very well-coached, they have a good football team – a lot of talent, both sides of the ball, special teams. It will be a great test for us.”

Prediction: Washington is feeling the heat from critics and do not want to go into their bye week 4-4, potentially 2.5 games back in the division race with more tough tests to come. Going to London will prove to be a blessing as the Redskins will be able to block out the noise and get back to playing football. Washington corners, whether it be Bashaud Breeland or Josh Norman (concussion), will limit A.J. Green and hold the Bengals offense to under 20 points.

Final score: 24-17, Redskins.

Follow Neil on Twitter @NeilDalal96.

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