Cincinnati Bengals: Preseason Is No Time For Panic
Aug 24, 2015; Tampa, FL, USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterbackAndy Dalton
(14) is sacked by Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive endGeorge Johnson
(94) during the first quarter of a preseason NFL football game at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
The Cincinnati Bengals had one of their worst games since facing the Browns on Thursday Night Football last season. The only concern is that some fans are ready to hit the panic button. With the regular season yet to even see week one, should we really be panicking yet?
The Bengals just played their second preseason game, and although Andy Dalton and the offense looked on to be playing out of two different playbooks, and the defense looking like a Division III NCAA football team, there is time to fix it. After all, it is the preseason.
Connor pointed out earlier that the Bengals had a lot to work after last nights loss, but that is to be expected. They have some young talented players and a few of them were inactive for the Buccaneers game. Two veterans, who will make huge impact on defense, Vontaze Burfict and Michael Johnson, plus the second year Bengal, Darqueze Dennard, missed due to injury. Burfict is the major question headed into the season, and if they can avoid the injury bug, could be the only major week one starter lost.
The Bengals Offense was not on the same page and part of that falls on the starting wide receiver just as much as the quarterback, especially when trying to get a pay day like Dez Bryant. A.J. Green dropped a pass into the hands of waiting corner, Alterraun Verner. A pass that would be caught 99% of the time and 100% by the truly elite wide receivers. Call it what you want, out of sync, a misjudgment on Green, or just a freak occurrence, but the fact is, it can not happen in the regular season. Good thing it is preseason then, huh?
Aug 24, 2015; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiverLouis Murphy
(18) cannot make the catch under the pressure of Cincinnati Bengals cornerbackTroy Hill
(28) during the second quarter of a preseason NFL football game at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
The Bengals defense was not much better. On the first drive of the game, Jameis Winston took the Bucs down the field and scored in just under 11 minutes. They weren’t much better after that, missed tackles, covers broken down the field, and the first half was the worst half of football from this team since Cleveland. Paul Guenther will need to wake up this defense up if he expects to earn a third year at the coordinator position. Remember, there is still time to fix it.
The coaching has not been up to standard of most Bengals fans, and hopefully the front office. The attitude of just being “Happy to be there” is not acceptable anymore. The Bengals have the tools to get the job done. Marvin Lewis is one of the better in game managers and doesn’t get all the credit he deserves, but yes, they need to find improvement. Both Guenther and second year offensive coordinator Hue Jackson, will need to focus on making adjustments both in game and in practice.
I know that this is the toughest schedule that the Bengals will face in recent memory. The games against the Patriots and Green Bay Packers the past few years have fallen to the side, but even last seasons team overcame the Broncos and the Ravens twice to their fourth straight playoff appearance. If they can continue to improve and work out the bugs in both the offense and defense, this team is dangerous. Although Monday nights game was hard to swallow, it is just the preseason, there is time to fix any mistakes and be ready for week one!
So I have one request, don’t push the panic button just yet!