Week 2 proved to be a struggle for the Cincinnati Bengals. A 30-12 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs has caused suspicions about the defense.
The Kansas City Chiefs invaded Paul Brown Stadium for a Week 2 preseason battle. The first half was all about KC. The glaring questions that needed to be answered are still hanging in the balance. The Bengals first-team offense and defense were pushed around with minimal effort from the defending AFC West champs.
By the time the Bengals realized they were in a meaningless scrap, Shawn Williams was injured and had to be carted off the field. If you can remember the horrendous leg injury to Tim Krumrie in Super Bowl XXIII, it’s one you don’t want to see on replay.
After a severe can of kick-butt was opened on the Bengals, what can be said? Cincinnati was down 16-9 at halftime and there seemed to be no fire from the team. The final score of 30-12 tells the entire story. Preseason games are a way to weed potential greatness from those who had a good run in college. But, when there’s a lack of emotion from all involved, the process can be tedious at best.
There was no push from the defensive line and the Bengals’ secondary was picked apart by each Kansas City quarterback that entered the game. If there was anything that stood out about the first half, it was the consistency of the kicking game and the play of the youngsters.
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If you need some names dropped, no problem. Alex Erickson continues to look good. If he keeps up his current pace, he’ll be hearing the demands of the fans to get him more snaps. Josh Malone looks cool and confident on his routes and catching passes in a jam.
The defensive pressure from Jordan Willis and Chris Smith is a welcome sight. But, with the strength and depth of the position, Michael Johnson’s days as a defensive end may be numbered. Smith has been bringing the heat each week and looks like he could push Johnson for a spot on the 53-man roster. But, anything can happen over the last few weeks of training camp.
The Bad And The Ugly
Andy Dalton struggled to lead the first team down the field. The running game looked good. But, the air attack is lacking. Dalton was able to complete 7-of-13 passes for 98 yards. But, they were meaningless yards that didn’t end in trips to the end zone. Bengals fans are not going to feel secure with his play after this outing. In fact, he was actually outplayed by Patrick Mahomes who finished the night with a 127.4 rating and two TDs.
Whatever is going on with the Bengals D needs to be addressed quickly. Mahomes and Alex Smith made them look like lost little puppies. Yes, there were bright spots on defense. Nick Vigil is still improving and showing his ability to absorb the defensive scheme. But, he couldn’t do it alone. It seemed as if there was no sense of urgency. Overall, it was a game that produced more questions than answers for the D.
Once again, that old friend bad tackling found its way back into the confines of PBS. Arm tackles suddenly became all the rage, after secure takedowns in Week 1.
It’s only preseason. However, it’s still football and the Bengals weren’t prepared.