NFL Week 1: Should the Bengals be in panic mode?

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CINCINNATI, OH - SEPTEMBER 10: Terrell Suggs #55 of the Baltimore Ravens sacks Andy Dalton #14 of the Cincinnati Bengals during the fourth quarter at Paul Brown Stadium on September 10, 2017 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - SEPTEMBER 10: Terrell Suggs #55 of the Baltimore Ravens sacks Andy Dalton #14 of the Cincinnati Bengals during the fourth quarter at Paul Brown Stadium on September 10, 2017 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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Week 1 will be a memory soon. But, the Bengals’ performance against the Ravens will still be a haunting experience that needs to be addressed.

It’s really hard to look back at the carnage that took place Sunday afternoon. After the offseason talk of how good this team was supposed to be, suddenly reality gave a stern slap in the face. Instead of the powerhouse team that fans were promised, the Bengals looked like a blast from the past. If retro is still chic, the Bengals were all the rage in their 20-0 loss to Baltimore.

The one thing that definitely saves face for Cincinnati is the timing of everything. Yes, it was the home opener and fans hadn’t been treated to one since 2009. But, it was also the first game of the season. Usually, that means there’s time to take a long look at things and figure out what could be wrong with the Maserati that Marvin Lewis and friends promised the city.

Actually, it would be easy to chalk this up as another one of those “you lied to me” moments that seem to revolve around this franchise. But, it’s just too early. Yes, the team looked like a deer caught in headlights. It’s true. There was no sense of urgency from the offense and the “weapons” at Andy Dalton’s disposal were squandered. But, is it time to be in panic mode? 

Any way you look at the situation, it’s still early. There are things that can be fixed to have the Bengals ready for the Texans on Thursday. But, it’s all about how this young team responds to adversity.

Sooner Or Later 

Maybe the lights will come on. There could be a miraculous change of fortunes from the football gods and the Bengals suddenly have some heart. To be honest, it isn’t about any of that. True, a certain amount of luck plays into the game. Offensive lineman Trey Hopkins left Sunday’s game with an ankle injury. Did anyone see that coming? Personally, it didn’t cross my mind. But, there has to come a time when this team is prepared for the chaos that usually finds it. 

More from Bengals News

If you failed to notice, Dalton was a hot mess. Tossing four interceptions isn’t going to help him win any popularity contests in Cincinnati. But, was it all on him? Some of the mistakes were truly atrocious. Yet, there seems to be a disconnect between him and offensive coordinator Ken Zampese. Simply put, the Dalton and the offense don’t have Hue Jackson on the sidelines. This was just Week 1. But, there has to be a drastic change in the play calling and Dalton’s ability to execute the plan. Quite frankly, The Ginger looked lost.

This year’s game plan was to get things flowing in the red zone. What was the result? Predictability and carelessness. Can anyone explain why Andrew would attempt to thread a pass between three Ravens defenders? I can’t unsee that sequence of events. However, if this is the team that will be taking the field on Sunday’s, there are some overhauls to be made. The problems can be smoothed out, but it has to be immediate.

The Lewis Banter

During his news conference on Monday, Lewis stated the obvious. But, sometimes. It’s about realizing the simplicity of what needs to get done.

"“When I watched the film last evening, there were some positives out there. It didn’t seem like it last evening, but there were some good things that happened. And, obviously, there were a lot of things we have to do better as far as execution goes. That’s the disappointing thing. We can’t turn the football over.”"

Next: Week 1 Fantasy Focus

Turnovers can be fixed. So far, the biggest problem with this Bengals squad seems to be confidence. The pieces are there for an exciting run. But, it all starts with attitude. They’ll need a heavy dose of it Thursday night.

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