Why there’s no cause for concern for the Bengals after Week 8

Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /
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Cincinnati Bengals
Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images) /

The Cincinnati Bengals are eight weeks into the season, and it has been better than anyone would’ve expected outside the locker room. Many pundits struggled to find three wins on the Bengals schedule, yet here they sit near the top of the division with upset wins over the Vikings, Steelers, and Ravens. Not too shabby for a team that was supposed to pick at the top of the draft next April.

That doesn’t mean that there aren’t issues, however. If you watched the shocking 34-31 loss to the Jets, then you know exactly what issues I speak of.

The Bengals went from appearing to have a legitimate top 10 defense, to utterly regressing a year and forgetting how to tackle and cover. Some guy named Mike White strafed the Bengals for over 400 yards despite rarely throwing the ball more than 10 yards down the field.

Though the Bengals knew what the Jets were doing on offense, they seemed utterly helpless in stopping them. Time and again White would dump the ball short only to see the Bengal defense miss easy tackles or whiff altogether. Definitely not a recipe for success as the Bengals defense has been very good at keeping plays in front of them and limiting extra yards.

Defensively the Jets somehow managed to take Ja’Marr Chase out of rhythm and limited him to his worst game of the year, as he finished with three catches for 32 yards and a touchdown (he dropped another touchdown, for what it’s worth). How much of this was the Bengals desire to get Tyler Boyd and Tee Higgins more involved and how much was actually the Jet defense remains to be seen, but it certainly was an unsettling outcome for an offense that has had no problem getting Chase rolling.

With all of that said, what is our level of concern with this Bengal team after eight games? Yes, they have looked good, but the loss to the Jets has caused me to pull back and examine the team as a whole.

Let’s attempt to examine the offense, defense, special teams, and coaching and assign a number that corresponds with my level of concern. This should be fun!

  1. Not at all
  2. Slightly concerned
  3. Feeling unsettled
  4. Panic setting in
  5. Thoughts and Prayers