Extend Bates… Now
Jessie Bates missed the first game of his NFL career and it showed on the field, as the defense looked absolutely terrible during the first half. You wouldn’t think a safety missing a game would make that much of a difference but that’s how important Bates is to this team.
On those Jaguars drives in the first half, Trevor Lawrence was able to throw the ball wherever he wanted and James Robinson was having his way against the defensive front. It wasn’t a pretty sight and having Bates out there would have meant several of those plays didn’t happen.
I was all for Bates being kept out due to the nature of his injury (a neck injury) but after seeing what the defense looked like without him, how can the Bengals excuse not extending him?
Pass Rush Of Old
While the defense did technically get one sack of Lawrence, it wasn’t a real sack. Logan Wilson essentially chased the Jaguars signal-caller out of bounds and it went in the record books as a sack. That was all the pass rush was able to muster up on the night. They didn’t get any hits on the number one overall pick.
This reminded all of us of the old pass rushes we’ve watched in Cincinnati and while the first three games showed this defense is on the right track, seeing them struggle against a mediocre Jaguars offensive line was worrisome, to say the least.
To be fair, Trey Hendrickson did have a fourth-quarter sack on Lawrence but it was wiped out by a holding call so it didn’t count on the stat sheet. Even if it had, the Bengals would have technically had just that one legitimate sack.