Yikes. After the last two weeks of embarrassingly close defeats, it is safe to say that doubt has officially plagued the Cincinnati Bengals. Additionally, if things only get worse, there is no question as to who will take the fall.
After two consecutive losses to begin the season, the Bengals sit at 0-2 and are at the bottom of the complicated AFC North. Yes, the AFC champions from a season ago are now at the bottom of the barrel in their division.
It might be hard to swallow for critics and fans alike, as the hype the Bengals got in the offseason was well deserved. However, it certainly does beg the question now — was their Super Bowl appearance a fluke? As in, how could a team that went through the crucible of the NFL Playoffs suddenly look this bad a few months after achieving a high level of success? Did the organization drink too much of the proverbial Kool-Aid, or did everyone else simply get better?
Why the Cincinnati Bengals Have Lost
Well, well, well, it looks like their old decisions have come back to haunt them. The franchise’s blatant disregard to skip over Penei Sewell in the 2021 NFL Draft has come back to bite them in the butt. While one might argue that 2021 second-round pick Jackson Carmen was their attempt to address the offensive tackle spot, he has not lived up to expectations. Lastly, the Detroit Lions are having their desired returns on their pick, as Sewell is currently the starting right tackle.
According to the Bengals’ depth chart, Carmen is currently a backup guard. Through two weeks, Burrow has been sacked an alarmingly high 13 times. Despite the abysmal offensive line play last season, he thrived last year behind the faulty blocking. However, the team knew this issue would need to be addressed to obtain more success for their 2022 campaign. In the offseason, the team signed Ted Karras, La’el Collins and Alex Cappa.
Drama is Cooking Up in Cincinnati
All in all, the Cincinnati Bengals’ attempt at addressing their offensive line has been dismal, to say the least. Each loss will only further compound itself on top of the Bengals organization, and things will only end worse if results don’t change. They still have a lot to address as a team, but props must be given to the Lions for addressing their needs as well. The Hard Knocks’ appearance has only made this team loveable, whereas each loss for the Bengals has made them forgetful.
Listen, we know it’s not Joe Burrow. He thrived last year despite being under constant pressure. This wide receiver trio is one of the best in the league. Joe Mixon is still a franchise running back, and the defense holds its own as a unit. But, if the defense is playing with their backs against the wall for a majority of the game, then they can’t be faulted for the field positioning.
It all boils down to this Cincinnati Bengals offensive line and if any adjustments will be made to them. Get your popcorn out, as this will be an interesting year in Southwestern Ohio.