Positives and Negatives: Week One

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Running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis #42 of the Cincinnati Bengals scores a touchdown against the Baltimore Ravens in the second quarter at M&T Bank Stadium on September 10, 2012 in Baltimore, Maryland.
(September 9, 2012 – Source: Patrick Smith/Getty Images North America)


If you follow me on Twitter (and if you don’t, what gives?), then you know some of my thoughts from the Bengals week one loss in Baltimore. In an effort to aggregate these thoughts, I’ll put them here. This way, they can be read all together for discussion sake, and to talk some fans down from the ledge. Yes, it was a bad loss, but was it as bad as it seems? Let’s investigate.

The Negatives

I mentioned this in a previous post as a concern, but it’s now the biggest worry I have. The Bengals secondary isn’t good. From the opening drive, when Torrey Smith beat them deep, setting the tone, to allowing easy completions on nearly every big 3rd down in the game, they looked bad. Leon Hall should get better as he gains more confidence in his recovery, but against Baltimore, he was average, and he was the best corner, despite his drop of a should-have-been interceptions in the 3rd quarter. The rest of the secondary looked exactly how I feared they would look, old, slow and beatable. As for the safeties, Reggie Nelson made a few solid tackles, but was mostly invisible, while Taylor Mays was terrible. Before the season, I wanted Tracy Porter more than anything. We passed, and he proceeded to make game-winning plays for the Broncos, while the Bengals floundered.

Speaking of coverage, after week one, I find myself wondering why the Bengals still can’t cover tight ends. Ed Dickson and Dennis Pitta are solid players and fine receivers, but Pitta looked like a Hall of Famer on Monday Night. It’s long been a struggle in Cincinnati, and something that sorely needs addressed if the Bengals hope to have any chance at a playoff spot in 2012.


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