I guess we’re staying in Ohio again this week with the slow start to the Cincinnati Bengals season. It hasn’t been all sunshine and rainbows for the Bengals when you look at their first two games. It all started when they were completely shutout by the Browns in week 1, but maybe that was because of the weather. The very next week they lost to the Ravens at home by 3 points. This week they played a familiar face in the Rams for Monday Night Football. It wasn’t a pretty game, but the Bengals survived with a 19-16 first win of the season.
Joe Burrow’s performance after three weeks has been underwhelming to say the least. It did look like he was able to make some big plays in the second half of the Rams game, but it didn’t seem like he’s completely 100% with that calf injury. Burrow’s QB rating after 3 games is 66.2 which is a result of having only 67 completions out of 122 pass attempts. Not the best numbers from a quarterback who just signed the largest contract in NFL history.
The wide receiver play between Chase, Higgins and Boyd has also fallen flat a bit. Things did seem to heat up with Chase making some big catches against the Rams. Higgins has struggled so far and left the game Monday with cramps. I think that worried fans a bit. If you lose Higgins, then you no longer have one of the best wide receiver duos in the NFL. Boyd really hasn’t done much in 3 games to really wow anyone either. Another offensive player struggling is Joe Mixon who’s averaging 4 yards per carry and has rushed for 180 yards off 40 carries. Not the best numbers from a top tier back.
As for the defense, they have been able to keep the team in games, except the Browns game, until the very last play. It really seems like this is an offensive issue that starts with Burrow being able to back to his old playing style. What I saw on Monday was a guy uncomfortable in the pocket who had very little mobility to make plays happen. If that can get fixed the Bengals should get back on track and be contenders for another playoff run. That’s if Burrows can get healthy.