The Cincinnati Bengals lost in AT&T Stadium on Sunday against the Dallas Cowboys. However, it is the way they lost that is the most concerning.
The Cincinnati Bengals lost 28-14 to the Dallas Cowboys. They were down 28-0 in the 3rd quarter at one point and they looked like a team that was completely lost with little ability to do anything on either side of the ball.
The Bengals offense had 96 yards on the ground, 269 yards through the air, and two touchdowns through the air. Doesn’t sound two bad, especially when you figure they gained a total of 345 yards including sacks. However, four sacks, nine quarterback hits, and a number of other quarterback hurries.
Andy Dalton had little time on numerous occasions to get anything out and get consistent accuracy. He was flushed out numerous times. A.J. Green was ineffective until the second half, in which, he still was very limited in his contributions. Brandon LaFell, who scored two touchdowns led all receivers with 68 yards on eight receptions.
Giovani Bernard lead all offensive weapons with 96 all purpose yards, 50 rushing yards and 46 receiving. It is only a slight consolation to what was the worst offensive line performance we have seen all season, or at least since week one.
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The defense wasn’t much better. Only one sack by Carlos Dunlap, three QB hits, all by Dunlap. The run defense was at it’s worse, allowing Ezekiel Elliott to gain 134 yards on 15 carries, including a 60 yard touchdown run to score the decisive blow for the 28-0 lead in the third. He scored two of the Cowboys four touchdowns.
The pass defense was better but not by much. Allowing 227 through the air, led by Terrance Williams with 70 yards and Cole Beasley with 53 yards and the lone passing touchdown. The Bengals defense was not totally inept, they did force one turnover and stopped the Cowboys, who were in lock down mode, for the final 25 minutes of the second half.
However, every attempt to climb back into the game was all short. A missed field goal by Mike Nugent, led to the 60 yard run by Elliott on the very next play. It was the dagger to the Bengals second half comeback attempt.
The Bengals have lost against great teams, the Broncos and Steelers. The Cowboys are the a good team but a beatable team. The Bengals are not in trouble because they are vulnerable to teams that last season, they would have beaten. This is a team that is missing a key piece on offense, but this team is missing much more, an identity.