With Tyler Eifert expected back in week five against the Dallas Cowboys and Vontaze Burfict back last week, the Cincinnati Bengals team that everyone expected this season has finally returned.
We have talked about Eifert helping a lackluster Bengals offense that can’t get passing touchdowns in the red zone. We have talked about how much this defense needed Vontaze Burfict back from suspension to lead this team emotionally. So what is left to talk about?
The Bengals were one for three in red zone attempts that went for touchdowns. They kicked five field goals and luckily, Mike Nugent has only missed one in 13 tries, in four games. By the way, we have to complement his accomplishments to this point, especially after a terrible preseason. This Bengals offense is certainly not the same.
The Bengals are in some ways lucky to be 2-2 after their week one struggles against the Jets, which could have left them 1-3. They have three rushing TD’s and three passing TD’s but 12 field goals. They are averaging 3 field goals a game and 1.5 TD’s per game. In 2015, those numbers were essentially reversed, 1.44 field goals per game to 3.125 touchdowns per game.
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Tyler Eifert is a huge reason for their success. He accounted for 13 of the 50 touchdowns scored, in which 31 were passing. His expected return in week five will give the Bengals a boost in both red zone success and moving the ball down the field. The Bengals were 40.3% on third downs last season, compared to the 27.8% this season, they need a boost.
There is no doubt that the Bengals offense in struggling. Yes, it very well could have a little to do with Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu. However, they both combined for 29.5% of total yards gained plus 4 touchdowns and Brandon LaFell and Tyler Boyd have combined for 27.4% of the yards and no touchdowns so far. The missing piece from last year to this year? Tyler Eifert.
The Cincinnati Bengals are finally starting to become whole again. Their defense flexed their muscles last week with the return of Burfict. This week against the Cowboys will be the offense’s turn, with the return of Eifert. This Bengals team is finally whole again, but can they get back to the top of the AFC North? It could happen!