The “Bad” this week is pretty minimal, but things you would like to see cleaned up if the Bengals have any hopes of playing in 2014.
Dec 8, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (12) scrambles out of the pocket getting away from Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle Brandon Thompson (98) during the fourth quarter at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
The Defense –
- No Sacks – You never like to have a game without a sack, especially at home and especially for a team that came into the game ranked 9th in the NFL. With that being said, the Bengals line still made itself known with 4 QB hits and at least 2 balls batted down at the line of scrimmage. Still, zero sacks against a banged up offensive line is concerning. They may be able to beat Luck without sacks, but they aren’t going to beat Manning or Brady if they don’t make them uneasy in the pocket.
- No Turnovers – In a cold and somewhat damp game like Sunday, you expect a lot of turnovers. There were none. Combined with the zero sacks, that is pretty disappointing for any defense, let alone a top 6 defense going against a weak offense. Dalton is unlikely to continue playing like he did Sunday and therefore the defense is going to need to help him out with turnovers and short fields.
- Pass Defense – The Bengals gave up a 300 yard game for only the second time in like 30 games. A streak that included the likes of Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Ben Roethlisberger, etc. So, while Andrew Luck is a very good quarterback, and one day may be considered one of the greats, to give up 326 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INTs and a 113.1 rating to a 2nd year QB throwing to T.Y. Hilton, Darrius Heyward-Bey, Coby Fleener and a guy named Da’Rick Rogers, at home (where opposing QB’s ratings were 56.0), and in bad weather, is very disappointing to say the least.