Nov 5, 2015; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert (85) scores a touchdown against the Cleveland Browns during the first quarter at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports
With a 31-10 victory over the Cleveland Browns on Thursday night, the Bengals are now the first team in the NFL to advance to 8-0 and the first AFC North team to ever start out a season 8-0. Not only did the Bengals improve the franchise’s best start in team history, the Bengals have become the only team in the history of the AFC North to ever start a season 8-0. After struggling against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 8, the Bengals’ third-ranked offense, in terms of points per game, returned to form with a four-touchdown night on Thursday. Tyler Eifert proved he is the Bengals’ most dangerous offensive weapon as Andy Dalton connected with Eifert on three pass touchdowns.
After his three touchdown performance, Eifert now leads the league with nine touchdowns through nine weeks. Eifert also tied the franchise record for most touchdowns by a Bengals tight end in a season. Only Bob Trumpy in 1969 and Rodney Holman in 1989 have recorded as many touchdowns as Eifert in a single season. With eight weeks left in the season, Eifert will surely surpass Trumpy and Holman for what will be the greatest season statistically for a Bengals tight end.
Effect’s presence on the field makes the Bengals’ offense the best in the NFL. As we have seen in years past, the Bengals have done a great job of acquiring weapons to stack this offense. It all began when the Bengals drafted Dalton and A.J. Green in 2011; Green quickly became one of the most dominant receivers in the game. A run game then developed in recent years from the attention defenses had to give to a strong passing attack, and the combination of Giovani Bernard and Jeremy Hill have emerged as one of the league’s top running tandems. However, with Eifert in the lineup, the Bengals’ offense is near unstoppable, with an endless amount of scoring possibilities.
Since he was first selected in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft, Tyler Eifert has always had the potential to be great and to make the Bengals’ offense great. Eifert came into the 2013 season with high expectations in his rookie year playing alongside Jermaine Gresham. He played in 15 games where he recorded 37 receptions for 434 yards and two touchdowns before suffering a neck injury that kept him limited and ineffective in the Bengals’ Wild Card Loss to the San Diego Chargers. A year ago, the Bengals sorely missed his presence in the offense after he suffered a dislocated elbow in the first quarter of the Bengals’ Week 1 matchup with the Baltimore Ravens. This year, injury hasn’t been an issue; and as a result, Eifert is wreaking havoc on defenses, against some of the league’s top players, including Kam Chancellor.
There is now a legitimate argument to be made that Tyler Eifert is one of the NFL’s top two tight ends. His 37 receptions and 434 yards rank seventh in the NFL, but his nine touchdowns ranks first; Rob Gronkowski would have to score two touchdowns this Sunday to tie Eifert in the race for most touchdowns on the season.
The Bengals now have over a week to prepare for their Monday night matchup on November 16, when they will host the Houston Texans in another prime time matchup and have a chance to improve their record to 9-0 on the season.