The Cincinnati Bengals were able to get the victory against the New Orleans Saints. Joe Burrow and the offense came alive. The defense kept their streak of not allowing a touchdown in the second half alive. There are still a few things that they must improve upon though.
Let's dive into those now.
A lot has been made of the offensive line woes early this season but it would appear that this unit is headed in the right direction. Oh how much better they look when they can win those one-on-one matchups. Yet, one area that they must improve upon quickly is the blitz pickup.
Demario Davis was able to get to Burrow twice off of a blitz. Joe Mixon could not slow down Davis on the linebacker’s first sack.
Several other times, the offensive line was late to recognize and come off their double team, causing pressure. It just so happens that one time this occurred, Burrow was able to escape and break off a 19-yard touchdown run.
On another play, the Saints blitzed both middle linebackers causing pressure up the middle. Samaje Perine pushed one backer away from the Bengals quarterback on this particular occasion. However, Burrow had to elude the other on his own, which he did. The play ended positively for Cincinnati’s offense, but it was dangerously close to reaching a disastrous conclusion.
A similar play occurred late in the fourth quarter—this time, Davis beat center Ted Karras and Mixon to bring down Burrow for a sack.
As much as we have come to expect Burrow to provide magical moments of disappearing from a rusher’s grasp, we are all acutely aware that he does not always escape such situations. Whether it was because of the left guard looking outside instead of inside, Perine not allowing the center to take the first guy, thereby blocking the wrong rusher, Mixon missing a block, or miscommunication along the offensive line, this is something that the offense must get right, soon.