Bengals: 5 things we learned from Week 1 overtime win vs. Vikings

Ja'Marr Chase #1 of the Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Ja'Marr Chase #1 of the Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /
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Cincinnati Bengals
Head coach Zac Taylor of the Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images) /

Offensive Line Still Has Work To Do

Another big emphasis over the offseason was fine-tuning the offensive line, especially after Joe Burrow was injured as a result of last year’s poor-performing o-line.

The Bengals signed Riley Reiff and drafted three offensive linemen in the hopes of shoring up their offensive line but none of the rookies were in the starting unit. Instead, the team rolled with Jonah Williams, Quinton Spain, Trey Hopkins, Xavier Su’a-Filo, and Riley Reiff as their starters.

Well, the new-look o-line didn’t look great, as Burrow was sacked five times and hit seven times total. This can’t be the case every week or Burrow won’t make it through the season. The fact of the matter is that Cincinnati knew this was an area of concern and they didn’t do enough to address it.

Zac Taylor Needs To Be Smarter

Okay, maybe this isn’t something we just learned, but it’s going on the list anyway.

Zac Taylor’s Bengals were on fire through the third quarter but stalled on a drive and were faced with a fourth down in their own territory. The obvious decision there is to punt the ball away and let your defense continue to go to work like they had been all afternoon.

Well, Taylor decided he didn’t want to go with the obvious decision and kept his boys on the field. This was not a good idea, as the offense failed to convert and the Vikings had the ball in their own territory. The purple team scored not long after, making this a seven-point game.

It wasn’t on the Bengals’ defense that time whatever the stat sheet might say. That touchdown was gift-wrapped to the Vikings by Zac Taylor. It might not have cost him this time but against most teams, it would. Gotta be smarter, Zac.