The Bengals have lost 10 in a row to start the season. They lost to the Rams and now the Bengals have to try to move forward with an 0-10 record. Here are five things learned from week 11.
1. Ryan Finley is Not the Answer
The Bengals have now given rookie fourth-round pick Ryan Finley two starts. His first one was understandably a mixed bag of results. Against the Raiders, fans got to see more of what Finley can bring to the table and that wasn’t a good thing. He threw for 115 yards and one interception on 13 of 31 passing. Finley also lost a fumble in the game.
It was ok to give Finley a shot to prove what he can do, as this team wasn’t winning. Now the Bengals know that they have to address the quarterback position in the 2020 NFL Draft. Andy Dalton clearly doesn’t want to be in Cincinnati anymore after being benched and they can’t trot Finley back on the field next season with the way he has played.
2. Joe Mixon is Running Well
Mixon and the rushing attack has been pretty tame this season, but it is coming along the last few weeks. Last week, he had over 100 yards against the Ravens. Against the Raiders, Mixon had 86 yards on 15 carries and had an impressive touchdown run.
Hopefully, the Bengals can continue to build on this throughout the rest of the season. This season is lost, but next season with a lot of new faces on the team, they have to run the ball well. They’ll likely have a new quarterback under center next season and they need to run the ball well to take the pressure off of him.
3. The Defense Doesn’t Need Preston Brown
Recently the Bengals cut linebacker Preston Brown from the team. It was a head-scratching move for salary cap reasons, but Brown wasn’t playing extremely well either. This week the Bengals held the Raiders to just 17 points, something that likely would’ve happened with or without Brown.
The defense still has struggles, as Derek Carr and Josh Jacobs both had good days, but the Bengals can improve in the offseason at the linebacker position. Without Brown, Nick Vigil led the team with 12 total tackles from his linebacker spot. It still was a dumb move given the Bengals just gave him a three-year deal this offseason.
4. The Secondary Needs Improvements
Derek Carr completes a high percentage of his passes, but on Sunday he was on another level. He was 25 of 29 for 292 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Seemingly every time he dropped back to pass he found an open receiver.
The defense as a whole needs a lot of work, but the secondary can’t let a team complete that high percentage of passes. William Jackson and Jesse Bates are still young and promising, but everyone else could be upgraded this offseason.
5. D-Line Still has Playmakers
The Bengals weren’t getting to the quarterback too often this season. Going up against the Raiders didn’t make things look good heading into the matchup, as Oakland has a good offensive line. The defensive line gave their best effort and finished the game with three sacks.
Geno Atkins finished the game with two tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks. Carlos Dunlap chipped in with 1.5 tackles for loss and 0.5 sacks. Carl Lawson had a sack and tackle for loss as well. For the two veterans, they both move up the all-time sacks list. Atkins ranks in the top 80 for sacks all-time with 75.5.