Cincinnati Bengals: One hidden statistic that hurt in Seattle
The Cincinnati Bengals dominated the Seattle Seahawks in almost every statistical category on Sunday, but came up short in the only area that truly matters, the scoreboard.
Some of the things that led to the one point loss by Cincinnati were pretty typical. Not coming away with touchdowns in the red zone and losing the turnover battle have been the downfall of many a team.
Especially for a team like Cincinnati with a young coaching staff, early in the year, and on the road, these issues are not only typical, but expected. Most importantly, they should get cleaned up as the season goes on. There are no moral victories in the NFL, but the feeling of optimism amongst most Bengals fans after the regular season opener is fairly well founded.
A large part of that optimism centers around quarterback Andy Dalton. Dalton threw for 418 yards and two touchdowns. Maybe I am just cynical, but that wasn’t what jumped out to me when I looked at the box score.
In what was a close game throughout, Dalton threw the ball 51 times. The Bengals only attempted 14 runs. It doesn’t matter who the quarterback is, teams that throw 51 times a game rarely win. The majority of the time, teams are forced in to this game plan after falling behind early, but that certainly wasn’t the case for Zac Taylor’s team on Sunday.
Given the injury to Joe Mixon, Cincinnati didn’t even have to perform better on the ground. Just a little more commitment to the run in order to bleed the clock and rob Seattle of one possession would have been enough to seal the road upset.
Yes, this is your classic Monday quarterback take, but we are all guilty of it. The fact is lack of commitment to the run hurt the Bengals as bad as anything else in the opener. Taylor will need to adjust for this in his play calling. If he doesn’t, the year will surely be filled with losses that look a lot like the first one did.