The Cincinnati Bengals got back to .500 after knocking off the New Orleans Saints in their home stadium by a score of 30-26. It was a game where the defense, who had been so strong through the first five games, struggled mightily, and the offense, who was up and down to this point, took over the ball game.
Let's dive into both of those in our weekly takeaways.
Run defense gashed
The Saints ran the ball incredibly well against the Bengals, finishing the game with 228 yards on the ground. They did make adjustments in the second half but in the first half, Cincinnati knew that the Saints were going to run the ball and they couldn't stop it.
Even worse, the Saints were without their three starting wide receivers and the Bengals were trailing for nearly the entire game. Now, I get it -- A win is a win but even when it was obvious that New Orleans was going to be a running offense, Cincinnati's defense had no idea how to slow them down.
Offense finally figuring it out?
After a not-so-great outing against Baltimore last week, the Bengals offense came to play on Sunday. Joe Burrow had his best game of the season, throwing for 300 yards and three touchdowns while putting on a couple of magical performances during the game as well.
The game-winning touchdown came on one play in the fourth quarter where Ja'Marr Chase took it to the house for 60 yards. This offense can be incredibly dangerous when everything is clicking and while it took them a bit to get there, the unit showed that they still have what it takes to win ball games for the team.
Defense figured things out in the second half
While the run defense was a major issue in this game, the defense did play better in the second half. They held the Saints offense to two field goals and that was the swing right there. It felt like if the Saints scored a touchdown on either of those drives where they put points on the board that this game wouldn't have gone as well for Cincinnati.
The defense had a sloppy first half but they rebounded for a nice second half and that was huge in this one.
At the end of the day, a win is a win but it was disappointing for the Bengals to trail for most of the game against a Saints team that was without their three starting receivers. This should have been a blowout but it was far closer than it should have been.