The Cincinnati Bengals lost their exhibition season opener 38-17 to the Kansas City Chiefs. The loss shows a lot of work needs to be done before the games get real in September.
The Cincinnati Bengals delivered on what most fans were fearful of. For those who thought the offensive line would be fine, you may want to rethink that approach. If you wondered what “magic” rookie head coach Zac Taylor might import from Los Angeles, there might not be much. The Bengals may ultimately be who they are: a work in progress, where a lot of progress is needed.
Now, before you pummel me for being a Bengals hater, take note. There were some bright spots. Auden Tate played well. Also, Ryan Finley might emerge as a legitimate backup quarterback, and Andy Dalton, bless his heart, will ultimately have a serviceable season once he gets some of his weapons back.
Hey, facts are facts, and while the exhibition season is not nearly the definitive arbiter on what the regular season may ultimately be, you’d be delusional to not note the chasm between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Kansas City Chiefs. It’s significant, and not closing anytime soon.
That said, it’s a game that allows Taylor to get an idea of what will and what may not work in 2019. Special teams need immediate attention, penalties were an issue, and Dalton is who he is.
Is this all an indication that this is a lost season in Cincinnati? No, it’s not. But sooner rather than later, the Bengals will need to find the talent that closes that gap between the haves and the have nots. Preseason or not, Cincinnati is trending the other way, and against a team like the Chiefs, it’s easy to see.