Is the sky falling in Bengaldom? At 3-4, the Bengals just seem to find ways to lose against their elite foes. This time, even a 14-3 lead wasn’t enough against rival Pittsburgh. But in the wake of a 24-17 loss that saw the Bengals dominated in total yardage, time of possession, and pretty much every other major statistic, there are always positives to take out. This game was no exception.
First off, Kevin Zeitler. He was nothing short of superb in run-blocking and protection all evening. He led the offensive line during their one solid 80-yard drive that boasted several very nice runs by the Law Firm, as our running game finally showed sparks of effectiveness. Furthermore, the protection of Andy Dalton was something that definitely showed throughout the game, and I think once Dalton learns to trust his O-line and the time that he has, he will be able to better utilize his weapons at receiver, particularly over the middle.
Speaking off the running game, BenJarvus Green-Ellis had arguably his best showing as a Bengal so far. Especially in the aforesaid drive in the first half, the Law Firm regularly pushed into the Steelers secondary, opening up the play-action passing game. I think after this game, he will continue to get early carries, and many more opportunities to do the same in future weeks.
And lastly, who other than Vontaze Burfict? The beast in the middle that recorded a whopping 15 tackles during Sunday night’s contest. Every play, he was rushing towards the ball, showing speed, intelligence, and agility. He was one of the most exciting players to watch under the lights, and easily gets my vote for defensive player of the game.
So we lost, but it wasn’t all bad. You can always take good things out, and use those to build on. I think this game produced a lot of good things, and hopefully we can use those to come out of the bye week strong.