Bengals vs Cowboys: What we learned in ugly Week 2 loss
The Cincinnati Bengals were big-time favorites over the Dak Prescott-less Dallas Cowboys and they went on to lose the game by a last-second field goal, losing 20-17 to a team led by Cooper Rush on offense.
There's really not a better word to sum up this loss than 'embarrassing'. The Bengals had no reason to lose to a team starting a guy named Cooper Rush at quarterback yet they did. They only had nine points on the board late in the game and despite their best efforts to tie things up at 17 all, the Cowboys got the last laugh with a last second field goal. Brutal.
Let's check out what we learned from a game that the Bengals are going to wish they had back at the end of the season.
Offensive line not gelling
After getting sacked seven times in Week 1, Joe Burrow didn't have it any easier this week against Micah Parsons and Co. The former No. 1 overall pick was sacked six times this week, meaning he's been sacked 13 times in just two games. Considering how much money the front office put into fixing the offensive line, things shouldn't be this bad, right?
The only positive out of this group so far is Ted Karras at center. He's been great. The rest of the unit is not playing well and it's led to the 0-2 start for the stripes.
Pass rush non-existent
If there was one game where the Bengals defensive line should have feasted on an opposing offensive line, it was this one. The Cowboys had a lot of injuries and inexperienced players on their starting o-line yet the stripes had just one sack of Cooper Rush.
For a team that has Trey Hendrickson, B.J. Hill, and Sam Hubbard up front, there's no reason for this team not to be getting many sacks. Hill had the lone sack for the good guys last week while Hubbard had the only sack of the game this week. We haven't seen Hendrickson get home yet. Where's the pass rush?
Bengals might not be a playoff team in 2022
Put your pitchforks down and hear me out folks. During the NFL Red Zone broadcast, a graphic was displayed that said since 2020 when the playoffs were expanded, 18 teams have started 0-2 -- None of those teams made the playoffs. The Bengals are 0-2 and don't look anywhere close to being a playoff team right now.
The offense keeps getting off to painfully slow starts and while the defense played well both weeks, they aren't getting pressure on the quarterback. These are not what playoff teams struggle with and unfortunately, things are only going to get trickier for the Bengals moving forward.
Winning the AFC last year was magical but perhaps the Bengals got into their own heads through these first two games because they aren't that same magical team we saw beat the Raiders, Titans, and Chiefs in the postseason. There's still team to turn things around, and fortunately the rest of the AFC North lost, but an 0-2 start isn't something to ignore.