Some things never change. But added things do.
Cincinnati’s abhorrent band had its best all-embracing achievement of the division on Sunday adjoin Cleveland, and Joe Mixon went over 100 yards for the aboriginal time in his career. The Bengals assuredly won the time of control battle, and abutting up face the Pittsburgh Steelers with a adventitious to alike their almanac at 6-6.
But not aggregate that happened on Sunday was good. Here are bristles added things I anticipate I apperceive about these Bengals afterward their win over the Browns.
John Ross is branch adjoin a ashen season
It is acceptable agilely bright that John Ross was not Marvin Lewis’ best for the Bengals’ first-round alternative in the 2017 NFL Draft. For the additional anniversary in a row, the fastest man in the NFL was a advantageous scratch.
But who needs that speed, anyway? Cincinnati boasts the 29th-best casual advance in the NFL, averaging a whopping 197.6 yards per game. Quarterback Andy Dalton has befuddled 18 touchdown passes, which ranks in the top bisected of the league, so maybe he absolutely does not charge that speed, anyhow. Right? Wrong.
The facts say otherwise. Cincinnati confused into the red area three of the four times it had the brawl in the aboriginal half. Yet the Bengals managed aloof one touchdown and had to achieve for acreage goals on both added occasions. The fourth control additionally concluded in a acreage goal. One is abandoned larboard to admiration whether Ross’ acceleration could accept fabricated a aberration on any of those possessions. We accept bristles amateur actual in the 2017 approved division and we’re starting to admiration aback we’ll see Ross accomplish an impact.
Vontaze Burfict may never learn
I am alpha to admiration whether Vontaze Burfict will anytime be able to apprentice to comedy the bold the way the NFL demands. In the preseason, Burfict was abeyant for three amateur for acquaintance with a caught receiver.
Against Cleveland Sunday, Burfict drew a 15-yard caitiff conduct amends for, of all things, acquaintance with a caught receiver. Will Burfict get himself suspended, already added for the play?
This is no beating on Burfict. He was accomplished a assertive way to comedy football, and became actual acceptable at it. Now that the bold is alteration constantly, Burfict is accepting a adamantine time befitting up with it.
And he is not alone. Cleveland assurance Jabrill Peppers hit Bengals’ advanced receiver Josh Malone with a acquaint to the chest that acquired an abridged canyon and, in any added era, would accept been a abundant play. Instead, Peppers was alleged for accidental acerbity and Cincinnati went to account an allowance touchdown.
Burfict’s penalty-provoking hit on Sunday looked a lot like the one adjoin the Chiefs. Don’t be afraid if you apprehend added about it.
The Bengals charge to attending to the slot
I accept been black the abortion to advance the aperture receiver, and the Bengals assuredly paid attention. Cincinnati’s aboriginal touchdown of the bold came on an eight-yard bang to aperture receiver Tyler Boyd, who may assuredly be out of the Lewis’ doghouse.
Cincinnati confused into the red area on two added occasions in the aboriginal half, but did not ambition the aperture receiver and did not score. Aboriginal in the additional half, the Bengals hit Alex Erickson out of the aperture for an 18-yard accession and Brandon LaFell, who confused into the slot, drew a canyon arrest alarm at the 1-yard band that led to a Dalton-to-Tyler Kroft touchdown pass.
There are no excuses this anniversary for the defense
The aegis cannot accuse that the breach did not do its job in the aboriginal half. Cincinnati’s breach ran off 29 plays in the aboriginal bisected to 33 for the Browns, and the time of control was around alike with Cleveland owning a fungus 15:28 to 14:32 bend in that category. Cincinnati accomplished with a slight bend in time of control at 30:32 to 29:28, although the Browns had the bend in cardinal of plays, 67-59.
The aegis connected to acquiesce the action to account backward in the aboriginal half. For the sixth time in the aftermost seven games, Bengals’ defenders accustomed the action to account credibility in the aftermost minute of the aboriginal half. This time, Cleveland put calm an 11-play, 75-yard drive, aided by an contrary abeyance alleged by the Bengals in an accomplishment to bottle the clock. That resulted in a 21-yard Zane Gonzalez acreage ambition as time expired.
Time afterwards time, the Bengals’ aegis accustomed the Browns to catechumen on continued third-down opportunities. On the Cleveland drive that resulted in a touchdown to cut the allowance to 23-16 amid through the fourth quarter, the Browns adapted on third-and-10 (Kenny Britt acquired 34 yards on a canyon from DeShone Kizer), and got eight yards on a third-and-nine on a canyon to amateur bound end David Njoku.
Then, with anybody in the amphitheater assured Kizer to run the brawl on a fourth-and-goal at the Bengals’ three-yard line, Kizer ran it and calmly punched the brawl into the end zone. Where was the defense?
The o-line deserves acclaim this week
Nearly every anniversary aback Andrew Whitworth and Kevin Zeitler were accustomed to leave in chargeless agency, we’ve talked about the problems with the Bengals’ abhorrent line. Well, boring but surely, (some of) those problems assume to be accepting resolved.
The aftermost brace of weeks, the admittance of Andre Smith at appropriate accouterment has helped Cincinnati advance its canyon blocking. Then, adjoin Cleveland, the Bengals assuredly put calm a solid all-around game. The band accustomed Dalton to be sacked abandoned one time. Alike added impressive, was the line’s efforts in the active game. Despite adverse one of the best hasty defenses in the NFL (ranked No. 6 advancing into Sunday), Cincinnati’s band opened the holes that accept been bankrupt all division long.
And Joe Mixon, the active aback of whom so abundant had been expected, but who was mired as one of the affliction starters in the alliance with an boilerplate of 2.9 yards per carry, ashen no time in award those holes. Mixon went over 100 yards for the aboriginal time in his career as he accomplished with 114 yards on 23 carries, an boilerplate of bristles yards per carry, and denticulate his fourth touchdown of the season. Among the aboriginal afternoon games, Mixon was Pro Football Focus’ cardinal one graded active aback with an all-embracing brand of 89.2, which is college than any affiliate of the Bengals’ aegis accustomed for the game.
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