The Cincinnati Bengals entered Week 11 needing a win after dropping their last two games. Fortunately, they did just that, storming into Las Vegas and winning the game 32-13 against the Raiders, moving to 6-4 in the process. With the win, Zac Taylor has matched his win total from the past two seasons through just 11 weeks of the 2021 season.
With a win in the books, let’s take a look at some takeaways from the win that was in Sin City.
The Bengals have themselves a weapon with Evan McPherson and it felt like they’re finally figuring out how to utilize him. McPherson was massive in this game, connecting on all four field goals he attempted with three of them coming from 50+ yards out.
McPherson did miss an extra point, but fortunately, it didn’t end up mattering when it was all said and done. He looked great on Sunday and the Bengals look like geniuses for taking a kicker in the fifth round.
Boyd back in the offensive game plan
Tyler Boyd had quite the disappearing act in recent weeks but we finally saw him get more involved in Las Vegas, and hey, what do you know? Good things happened when the ball went Boyd’s way.
Boyd finished this game with six catches for 49 yards with a long of 14 yards. It felt like whenever Joe Burrow needed a big play, Boyd was there to make sure that big play happened. It was good to see the Pittsburgh product get back out there and be utilized once again. Now let’s hope it stays that way.
Have a game, Joe Mixon!
Hey, I think Joe Mixon just scored ANOTHER touchdown! All jokes aside, the Bengals running back had himself a day on Sunday, rushing for 121 yards and two touchdowns off of 27 carries. He didn’t do anything as a pass-catcher but he didn’t need to, as his rushing yards were enough to carry this team to victory.
Mixon and McPherson deserve the two game balls this week but Mixon in particular was very impressive. Hopefully, this is the start of a more dominant run offense for Mixon and the stripes.
While the defense played better than they had in Weeks 8 and 9, the pass rush was nowhere to be found in the victory. Derek Carr remained upright for the entirety of the game, as the Bengals had zero sacks on Carr until the final few minutes of the game (they ended up with two).
It might not have been a big deal in the grand scheme of things this week, but eventually, this could come back to bite the Bengals. The team spent a lot of money on Trey Hendrickson and while it’s not all on his shoulders (plus he’s been great), the pass rush has to do something moving forward or offenses will make them pay.
Rough day for the OL
Yes, Joe Mixon had a good day running the football, but that was about where the praise for the Bengals o-line stopped. Joe Burrow was sacked three times, hit five times, and pressured throughout the game. It truly is baffling that after having Burrow for essentially two offseasons, this is the best unit the Bengals could muster up. They have to be better.
This was by no means a perfect game for the Cincinnati Bengals but at this point, fans are just thrilled to see the good guys get back into the win column. Unfortunately, the Ravens and Browns both won their early window games, but hey — This was a step in the right direction for a team that had been struggling.
Up next: The Bengals return home to face the Steelers, who are also still in contention for the AFC North title.