The Bengals have lost five in a row to start the season. They lost to the Cardinals and now the Bengals have to try to move forward with an 0-5 record. Here are five things learned from week 5.
1. The Bengals May Only Win One Game
The 26-23 loss to the Cardinals gave Kyler Murray his first win as a pro. Cincinnati blew one of their best chances to win a game this season. They were at home with a winless team traveling across the country to play them. The Bengals were on short rest after playing the Steelers on Monday Night Football, but still should’ve taken care of business.
Now, the Bengals can look forward to a decently tough schedule. They have winnable games left against the Raiders, Jets and Dolphins. The way they are playing right now, they only team they could beat on this list is Miami, who has traded most notable players and are embracing tanking.
2. The Offensive Line Played Better
One of the biggest points of disappointment this year has been the play of the offensive line. There have been injuries, but even with the injuries, the line should’ve been playing better. On Sunday, the line played one of its best games of the season.
Andy Dalton was sacked just one time, which was relief from the eight times he was sacked on Monday Night Football. Joe Mixon also was able to find running lanes behind the line with 93 yards rushing on 19 carries. This is what the line needs to do every game, but it might be hard for them to find consistency when the competition gets tougher.
3. Tyler Boyd Stepped Up
The Bengals entered the game banged up at the wide receiver position. A.J. Green still wasn’t healthy enough to return with his foot injury and John Ross was placed on IR this week. That left Tyler Boyd as the only experienced receiver left.
Boyd showed flashes of his talent in the past, that hasn’t really been present in Zac Taylor’s new system. He had his best game of the season with 10 receptions for 123 yards and a touchdown. Dalton knew he could rely on Boyd and clearly looked to him when it was most needed. No one else on the team registered more than four catches.
4. Brandon Wilson is Making an Impact
Brandon Wilson came up with a huge play on fourth down against the Steelers last week. The backup defensive back has been adding to his usefulness each week and made some big plays for the Bengals. In this game, he proved to be a good kick returner, averaging 32.3 yards per return.
Although he registered just one tackle on the defensive side of the ball, the young player is earning time on the field with his special teams play. If he can keep on returning kicks like that he will be really valuable to the team. Getting more defensive snaps will make him even more valuable.
5. The Defense Still Struggles to Limit What Opponents do Best
Cincinnati’s defense has been a mess all season. In this game, they allowed just 26 points, but still allowed the Cardinals to dictate most of the game. Kyler Murray threw for 253 yards and also rushed for 93 and a score. David Johnson added 91 rushing yards as well. Murray’s ability to create plays won the Cardinals the game.
Pressuring young quarterbacks is usually a good idea, but Murray was sacked just once on the day. Some of that had to do with his escapability, but the Bengals should’ve game-planned for that. Last week against the Steelers, the Bengals allowed Mason Rudolph to complete short passes all game to move the chains. If they can’t stop what an offense does best, the defense won’t improve much the rest of the year.