Sep 8, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Cincinnati Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert (center) makes a catch between Chicago Bears cornerback Tim Jennings (left) and Bears outside linebacker Lance Briggs (right) during the second half at Soldier Field. Chicago won 24-21. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
When I first read that the Bengals were only dressing four wide receivers in Week One against the Bears, my first thought was the Tampa 2. Chicago, under former head coach Lovie Smith, ran the defense that Smith learned from Tony Dungy, featuring aggressive cornerbacks playing press coverage underneath.
But that defense can be vulnerable to the run due to the middle linebacker’s responsibilities to protect the safeties.
While watching the game, however, I finally realized the motivation, even though I mentioned it last week, was the scores of different looks that the Bengals could show out of base personnel. And, despite the Bears getting the last laugh off a Mohammed Sanu fumble, the boundless potential of this year’s offense shone through the disappointment of a close loss.
To further that point, the Bengals’ offensive gameplan seemed far more creative and calculated than it appeared at times last year. Although the personnel versatility kept the Bears on their heels, the way that Cincinnati attacked Chicago’s hard-hitting defense should give the less-heralded unit a bright outlook for 2013.