By Nick Wilder
David Kaplan interviewed McCalister Wednesday night on his WGN Radio show, The David Kaplan Show, to discuss Sunday’s game between the Bengals and Bears.
“The Bengals have addressed Andy Dalton’s limitations by giving him more offensive weapons this season," McCalister said. "They drafted tight end Tyler Eifert out of Notre Dame and shifty running back Giovani Bernard. They will score more than they have in the past and these weapons will help them on third down and in the red zone.
“Cincinnati also has a devastating defensive line. Geno Atkins is a mammoth, playmaking, difference-maker on their defensive line and everything operates off of that. You have to worry so much about him that it frees up other players along the defensive line.”
McCalister also addressed possible issues facing the Bengals on Sunday, including the team’s current injuries and weakness.
“The Bengals do have two killer injuries that they are dealing with on both sides of the football, which are going to be major components in Sunday’s game," McCalister said. "Their starting left tackle Andrew Whitworth is expected to be out Sunday and they likely lost linebacker Emmanuel Lamur for the season due to a shoulder injury.
“For the Bears to win, they must get pressure on Andy Dalton, which is more likely to occur with Whitworth out for this game. The Bengals will also be challenged in the secondary if they don’t get pressure from their defensive front.”
However, McCalister believes the Bengals will win the game on Sunday and have a successful season.
“This fan base believes that the Bengals will go into Chicago and win this opening game," McCalister said. "They are a 10 or 11 win team and will look much better offensively than they have in the past. My prediction is the Bengals win 21-17.”