Bengals: 3 Positives and 3 Negatives after Week 2

Bengals beat the Ravens at home to start the season 2-0

AP Photo

Man, what a game. Nothing like watching the Bengals winning in prime time!

Wait…. Bengals, winning, prime time, all in the same sentence? That doesn’t seem right…

Holy shit, we actually won in prime-time!

It was another roller coaster game for us as fans – and I’ve got a big question… so let’s get to it!

Negatives

Joe Mixon will miss 2 weeks, requiring arthroscopic surgery

That sucks. Thank you football gods…. can’t even give us 24 hours to enjoy this win?

This is obviously terrible news – and these next 2 games are going to be difficult. Panthers have great linebackers, so having a solid run game is important for the success of our offense. The Falcons are just a really good team, and are tough to beat at home. Though it only says 2 games, I wouldn’t expect him to be back as a full time starter until about 3-4 games. Marvin Lewis will likely want to ease him in. And honestly – with a knee injury, that’s not a horrible idea.

Now, luckily there are much worse knee injuries out there. An arthroscopic surgery shouldn’t make his production suddenly fall off the charts. No knee injury should be considered “minor,” but to a knee injury standards, this is pretty minor.

The real question: Can Giovani Bernard step up? Love Bernard, but he’s no Mixon. You can tell when Mixon is out there versus anyone else in the backfield. The Panthers have some damn good linebackers, but their secondary is a joke. We don’t need Gio to be a superhero. If we want to beat Carolina or Atlanta, Bernard will have to step up.

Dre Kirkpatrick dropping interceptions

Ok, this negative does also include a positive. Kirkpatrick has been getting a lot of play recently. Abd he’s handled it pretty well so far this year:

And that pass interference on John Brown was complete bullshit.

When you get targeted 19 times, you’re gonna give up some catches. But he’s holding his own.

But you know what he’s has been horrible at? Catching interceptions. He’s covering well, getting into good position, but he just can’t hold onto the ball. He has 3 dropped interceptions already this year and he dropped one that literally floated into his arms.

We’ve seen an upgrade from Kirkpatrick play already; he just needs to catch the damn ball.

Alex Collins destroying us

Other than a few lucky plays, the Ravens didn’t have a ton of plays that killed us…. Except for this check-down to Alex Collins as he runs through our defense.

Seriously, what is that!? The Bengals for whatever reason, cannot seem to tackle the running back in the passing game. That’s something that needs to be addressed before we face off against the Panthers and Christian McCaffery (great receiving back).

Positives

We held onto the lead (kinda)

The Bengals had a big lead, and held onto it. That is huge. One of the biggest questions going into this year, was can Marvin hold onto a lead? We struggled with that last year.

Hold onto a lead we did. It wasn’t pretty, but he got the job done. It was 21-0, but sadly turned in into 28-23. The Bengals offense went conservative and that let the Ravens slowly come back into the game. With the game close we went more aggressive on the final drive and secured the touchdown to make it a two-score game.

The fact we went limp (conservative) is concerning… but regardless, we held onto a lead and got the win!

Tyler Boyd

After a promising rookie year, Boyd was almost invisible last year. He basically did nothing… until Week 17:

Ahhhhh, good times. That play was a glimpse of what Tyler Boyd can be. Boyd improved a ton throughout camp and he finally had a chance to prove it. 6 catches, 91 yards and a touchdown and was Andy’s check-down guy for the most part. Boyd is a part of what makes this offense so good.

And this isn’t the first time Boyd had 91 yards and a TD against the Ravens…

Defensive Line

Damn, our defensive line is good. Both Atkins and Hubbard had 1.5 sacks. While Dunlap didn’t record a sack, he was getting pressure on just about every play. He hit Flacco’s arm, and that resulted in a horrible pass that was intercepted by Shawn Williams:

Shawn Williams also got a strip sack that led to the game-clinching field goal. Williams played great and as a whole this defensive line showed how dominant they will be this year!

Question

How will the Bengals fair with a mobile quarterback? (like Cam Newton)

Bengals are a team that has struggled with mobile quarterbacks in the past. Even though Joe Flacco isn’t very mobile or spry or good or elite, there were times in Thursday’s game where he moved around and we struggled to corral him. Both Atkins and Dunlap missed sacks when Flacco was moving around. Newton’s ability to keep the play alive might kill us… so we gotta step up in that area.

2-0 start looking for 3-0. WHODEY!

Written by Braeden Guthrie

The Bengals are my life.

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