The Jets played an emotional game and nearly beat the Cincinnati Bengals. Here are 5 takeaways from a battle that could have gone either way.
The Cincinnati Bengals were not perfect on Sunday in East Rutherford, New Jersey, but a Mike Nugent 47-yard field goal with 54 seconds remaining propelled them to a 23-22 season-opening victory over the New York Jets.
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There were good and bad things from both sides of the ball in Cincinnati’s first road win over the Jets since 1981, but it was a test passed by the experienced Bengals in a tough environment against a 10-win team from a season ago.
Games like Sunday’s are ones the Bengals need to finish—if they plan on breaking the NFL’s longest playoff drought in January.
Here are five observations from the win over Gang Green:
5.) Poor play from the offensive line
Far too often on Sunday, the Bengals’ offensive line had trouble keeping their quarterback on his feet. Andy Dalton was sacked a career-high seven times, five in the first half alone. In 13 games last season, Dalton was only sacked 20 times. While the offensive line in total allowed 32 sacks with A.J. McCarron being dropped 12 times in the final four games.
Going forward, this is obviously something that needs to be fixed for the Bengals, especially with a trip to Pittsburgh coming up next Sunday and the reigning Super Bowl-Champion Denver Broncos (who led the NFL in sacks last season) coming to Paul Brown Stadium in week three. The good news, though; Paul Alexander is in his 21st season as the Bengals’ offensive line coach and adjustments will be made to keep Dalton on his feet.
Next: Ground Madness