Cincinnati Bengals: Offensive struggles continue against Jacksonville
By Blake Jewell
The Bengals offense has been a disappointment all season. Sunday’s game against the Jaguars was no exception.
It is no secret that the Bengals have struggled as a team this season, but the offense has been incredibly disappointing. At the beginning of the season, it appeared the injury to A.J. Green was to blame for Cincinnati’s poor offensive play. However, as the season goes on, It is clear there are more problems than just an injured star receiver.
The offensive line has been brutal in run blocking this season. Last season’s AFC rushing leader Joe Mixon has no time to break open a run. Cincinnati is dead last in the NFL in rushing yards. On a more embarrassing note, they have been outrushed by opponents this season 1,323-372. It can’t get much worse than that.
The play that best represents the Bengals offensive struggles this season happened on a 3rd and 1 play almost immediately following a great first-quarter goal-line stand by the Bengals defense on Sunday.
Running the ball in that down and distance is perfectly fine, but a halfback sweep to the left where Mixon receives the ball six yards behind the line makes zero since. One would assume that Cincinnati was trying to catch the Jaguars defense off guard, but Mixon had no blocks and was bottled up for a three-yard loss on 3rd down and 1. Not a good look for Zac Taylor.
The Bengals also lost the turnover battle on Sunday. Four turnovers to zero makes it incredibly hard to win. Andy Dalton threw three interceptions against Jacksonville in a span of five plays in the fourth quarter. All three of them were ugly.
With this roster, it’s going to be hard to win games with mistakes like that. It is time to give Ryan Finley a chance. The Bengals have nothing left to lose.
It is not going to get any easier for the Bengals in Week 8. They travel to London to face the 4-3 Rams. Going against Defensive Player of the Year candidate Aaron Donald and newly acquired cornerback Jalen Ramsey is going to be a challenge, to say the least for this Cincinnati offense.