Many things went wrong for the Cincinnati Bengals in their loss at the hands of the Tennessee Titans on Sunday. There were a multitude of stats that pointed to just how badly the men in stripes played.
Like your apartment, after you host Sunday’s NFL viewing party, many things need to get cleaned up. Here are three unacceptable statistics with one of these becoming a weekly fixture on this list.
6) 3 points
A year ago, we would have said that Joe Burrow, on one leg, is a top-15 quarterback. This is not an official statistic, of course. What it is, perhaps, is hyperbolic.
We got an up close and personal view of what Patrick Mahomes is capable of on one leg. It was not just about the Kansas City QB. The coaching staff did an excellent job of managing his injury in the game. A clear and solid plan, along with an average Bengals pass rush, allowed KC to beat Cincinnati in the AFC Championship Game.
No matter the reason, having a team with so much talent on the roster only score three points is unacceptable. An offense with a rebuilt offensive line, the best trio of receivers in the NFL, and the second-best quarterback in the league should be closer to unstoppable than incompetent on the effectiveness scale. Unfortunately, and inexplicably beyond Burrow’s calf, the Bengals are closer to the former than the latter.
Through four games, Cincinnati’s offense has mustered only 49 points. That ranks 31st in the league, per ESPN. Only the New York Giants have scored less. They play on Monday Night Football, however, so they only need a touchdown and an extra point to surpass Cincinnati in that category (this article was written before Monday night's game).
The most important stat is how many points a team can score. The Bengals are failing miserably in that regard. Their inability to score more points is objectionable with the players they have on this roster.
If it truly is a question of Burrow’s calf limiting the offense, the star QB should not be out there. If the play calling is restricted by not calling play-action or rollouts, a healthy quarterback should be in the huddle so that part of the game plan can be executed.
If Cincinnati's coaching staff persists in neglecting the running game and the offense is hampered by a widely-discussed calf injury, we can anticipate more offensive performances similar to those seen in Tennessee and Cleveland.