Oooookay, Cincinnati Bengals fans – let’s just pump those brakes a little bit.
Yeah, we know, we’ve been hyping up the 2017 Cincinnati Bengals as much as anyone. Still, you can’t argue with the fact that Saturday night’s 30-12 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs showed that this team has some work to do if it’s going to get back to the playoffs for the seventh time in nine years.
How Things Went
The story of the night was the defense … or lack thereof. The Cincy D couldn’t stop the Kansas City QBs. They couldn’t stop the Chiefs from gaining 228 yards on the ground. Heck, they couldn’t stop in the name of love on Saturday. Kansas City signal-callers Patrick Mahomes II, Alex Smith, and Tyler Bray combined to go 20/28 for 182 yards, four touchdowns, and a 130.1 QB rating. Each quarterback threw at least one score. The Chiefs got all of their points in the first three quarters of play.
To add to the misery, Bengals starting safety Shawn Williams went down with a gnarly elbow injury early in the game. Slo-mo replay shows his right arm bending very awkwardly. Sort of like when Steven Seagal would snap an armlock on one of Screwface’s evil henchmen. We certainly pray for his recovery, but don’t expect him back any time soon.
On the other side of the ball, Cincinnati Bengals’ quarterback Andy Dalton went 7/13 for 98 yards, but he never looked comfortable. AJ McCarron also appeared to be off-target. Even AJ Green dropped a pass, which happens about as often as a Cleveland Browns victory.
One bit of good news is the Bengal kickers once again showed their accuracy. Randy Bullock and Jake Elliott each went two for two and accounted for all of Cincy’s points. If the Bengals are in a close game this season, they’ll be in good hands (er, feet). Also, there were solid individual performances by linebackers Vontaze Burfict and Nick Vigil (who had eight tackles). Youngster defensive ends Jordan Willis and Chris Smith each nabbed a sack. Being able to attack the QB from the edge was an offseason concern for the defense that seems to be easing by the week.
Cincinnati Bengals Player of the Game
If you think it was unusual last week for the kickers to be selected as PotG, how about two weeks in a row? Bullock and Elliott accounted for Cincinnati’s entire score again. Bullock booted a 47-yarder and one from 26, and Elliott connected from 32 and 39 yards.
What This Means Going Forward
We’re not sure if the Bengals’ defense just had an off-night or if Kansas City exposed some glaring weaknesses. But defensive coordinator Paul Guenther has some serious tape-reviewing to do in the next few days.
Cincinnati will need to find a replacement for Shawn Williams quickly. They have depth in George Iloka, Clayton Fejedelem, Derron Smith and Josh Shaw, but the only thing that hurts more than losing Williams is Shawn’s arm after that play.
The Cincinnati Bengals will take the field next on Sunday, August 27th on the road against the Washington Redskins.