Bengals vs Chiefs: Bright moments from a frustrating night

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CINCINNATI, OH - AUGUST 19: Kareem Hunt #27 of the Kansas City Chiefs runs with the ball against the Cincinnati Bengals during the preseason game at Paul Brown Stadium on August 19, 2017 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - AUGUST 19: Kareem Hunt #27 of the Kansas City Chiefs runs with the ball against the Cincinnati Bengals during the preseason game at Paul Brown Stadium on August 19, 2017 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /
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There were tons of questions about the Bengals after the Kansas City Chiefs left PBS with a win. But, the answers have to come quickly.

Maybe frustrating isn’t the best word to use in lieu of what happened Saturday night. When the clock hit triple zeros and the few remaining Bengals faithful filed out of PBS, shock was the feeling. What the Chiefs were able to do to Cincinnati was both sobering and angering. With just two more games left in the preseason, the hometown crew took a few steps back and looked like a team coached by Homer Rice (thinking that name really hurt). But, thankfully, it doesn’t really count.

If you wanna look at the game in terms of pride, it counts. The Cincinnati Bengals didn’t have a lot of proud moments in that game. Kansas City rode into town on a black horse, wearing all black and played the villain well. They were able to do what they wanted against the Bengals’ defensive and offensive units. Watching the game was like looking at a classic rerun station. Saturday night’s feature was a highlight reel of Cincinnati football moments from the 1990s.

Before the Washington Redskins have a chance for target practice, there are various aspects of the Stripes that have to be repaired. But, amid the chaos and embarrassment, there was actually a silver lining. Yes, there were things the Bengals could rave about.

Youngsters On Defense 

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Giving up 30 points isn’t something to brag about. But, the defense had its shining moments outside the final score. The play of certain vets and rookies is getting better as the preseason lumbers along. One of those bright spots happens to be Nick Vigil. Once again, he looked like a sound acquisition and played with the confidence that comes with absorbing the playbook. He’s at the point of reacting more than thinking. When that happens, good things are waiting in the balance.

Vigil is fast. This is a proven fact. But, he’s now showing that he can add strength and smarts to his game. His speed and ability to think on the fly almost resulted in his first interception of the preseason. He was all over the field a la Vontaze Burfict.

The play of Chris Smith just seems to keep getting better. He looks like the steal of the offseason for the Bengals. In two preseason games, Smith has proven he can hang with the big boys. Granted, his playing time is coming against second and third-string opponents. But, he stands out against the competition. He’s consistently in the backfield causing havoc. Eric Winston said it best, per Bengals.com.

"“More than anything, he understands the art of rushing the passer. It’s about setting guys up and understanding tendencies and leverage.”"

Will Clarke, Michael Johnson and Wallace Gilberry are the only obstacles that stand in the way of his roster spot. Frankly, one of them will have to go. In two games, Smith has been an impressive addition.

Young Bucks With The Ball

There’s no need to hype Joe Mixon. He has the ability to make something out of nothing. He was used sparingly on Saturday night. But, he was still exciting.

Undoubtedly, the bravery award must go to Alex Erickson. The young man is definitely making a name for himself. In his second year, he looks more comfortable with the offense. With the scheme embedded in his head, he’s able to go out and play. The Bengals have used him exclusively as a kick returner. But, after his breakout performance, there could be more touches for him.

Next: Preseason Week 2 Meltdown

The kicking game continues to be a steady component of the preseason. Both Jake Elliott and Randy Bullock are dedicated to winning the battle for that position.

With roughly two weeks remaining before the regular season, the Bengals have to find answers to the pathetic showing against KC. On September 10, there will be no do overs.

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