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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Logan Wilson, Cincinnati Bengals (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /

Level of Concern with Cincinnati Bengals Defense — 3

I don’t want to feel unsettled about this defense. Really, I don’t. They have looked so good, the tackling and communication have been sound. Hell, even Eli Apple has been really good the last month.

However, what I saw on Sunday has got me feeling weird.  Sunday was a throwback to Lou Anarumo defense past. Missed tackles, blown assignments, dumb penalties (not talking about the garbage call on Mike Hilton — We all know that was trash), and a general lack of intensity.

As a unit, in a game considered a “trap”, you simply cannot get run over. On Sunday, the Bengals defense made Mike White and Michael Carter look like Peyton Manning and Edgerrin James (look them up, kids). Carter juked, jived, and bulled his way to 172 total yards, most of which was either after contact or on short, dump passes, and White nickeled and dimed his way to over 400 yards passing.

How is this possible? I’ll tell you how — In weeks past seemingly every play, there were three or more Bengal defenders flying to the ball. The speed and intensity just weren’t there on Sunday. the Bengals’ defense looked slow, tired, and at times lazy.

What is the result? Getting made to look like a college team against the Jets.

I’m giving the defense the benefit of the doubt, as they have earned it. The thought here is Jesse Bates, Trey Hendrickson, Logan Wilson and company come out against the Browns Sunday pissed off and with lots of energy and intensity. If they can revert back to the aggressive, sure tackling unit they were for the first seven games, maybe I can dial my anxiety back to a 1.