The Bengals caught lightning in a bottle last year; that lightning was now gone on Sunday afternoon. The Bengals lost one of the weirdest games in NFL history, 23-20, and a lot of people are to blame, but non more than Bengals head coach Zac Taylor. Check out the top football betting sites.
Joe Burrow tossed four interceptions, the offensive line was bad, and the team looked unprepared to deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Why?
The Bengals made three big signings during the off-season, and that was supposed to make the offensive line better, and they are, but they needed to replace all five guys from last year and not just three. For some reason, the Bengals started rookie fourth-round draft pick Cordell Volson at left guard, and he looked like a rookie fourth-round pick. Jonah Williams struggled as he always has, and four sacks in the first half alone looked like last season.
No reps in the preseason, I can see, for the skill position players, but the offensive line needs to play together to be good, and until today they had never played in a game together before. The Bengals downfall over the last decade has been their inability to draft quality offensive linemen, and Volson looks like he will fit in with all of those failed draft picks.
The Bengals came out in a five-wide set in the game’s first series! Remember, this line had not played together during a game until this first drive, and they went five wide and gave no help to the line with a running back in the backfield.
The Bengals were called short of the goal line in a play that looked like an obvious touchdown, yet they did not ask to review it. The Bengals, down 20-14 in field goal range, decided to go for the first down instead of kicking the field goal and failed. Of course, long snapper Clark Harris got hurt, and Mitchell Wilcox, the backup, screwed some stuff up, but overall, the play calling seemed disjointed with not a lot of shots down the field.
Burrow hit Ja’Marr Chass down the field as the game was winding down. It was a significant gain. After the ball was placed at the 1-yard line, Chase had the ball across a plain. It should have been a touchdown for the Bengals and six points. They would have been in the lead if they had added one point. The Bengals hurried up, ran another play, and never challenged a call that would have tied the game.
Losing Higgins and Boyd was killers, but the Steelers lost the best player in TJ Watt and Najee Harris, yet they still figured out a way to win the game. Plus, if you protect your starters from contact during the preseason, are they even ready to get hit?
It’s only one game, and I am sure I am overreacting. The Steelers did the same thing to the Bills last year, and the Bills, not the Steelers, were in the playoffs at the end of the season. BTW on third down with a high snap, Huber could have just downed the ball and kicked it on fourth down. Mitchell Wilcox will now be remembered by Bengals fans forever! One last thing, get Chris Evans on the field!
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