Yes, the Bengals preseason opener was a rough one. Really rough. However, it's early and the Bengals still have time to get better and they will.
The offense and defense looked equally bad on Friday night. The offense couldn't make their way into the end zone and the defense couldn't stop the Lions from staying out of the end zone. It was expected, though, especially from the offense, that the team would struggle. So, even though we're worried, we shouldn't be too worried.
Friday night was also probably a fairly rude awakening for Bengals players. They were not only beaten but beaten easily and even though I have never played professional football, I'm sure that's not an easy thing to handle. They're handling it, though. Today they have taken to the field again at Georgetown College to continue to practice and get ready for Saturday night's game against the New York Jets.
To win that game, or at least be competitive in that game, the Bengals will need to greatly improve in a week. However, that game, like Friday night's game, doesn't matter. The first game that does matter will be played on September 11 in Cleveland against the Browns.
Even if they're not improved enough to beat the Jets on Saturday night, Bengals defensive tackle Domata Peko promises they'll be good enough when it matters.
Peko message to fans...We ll get better. We ll be ready for the opener. Im excited about this defense
Peko emerged as one of the team's leaders in the offseason by organizing workouts with the defense and eventually, working with Andrew Whitworth, with the entire team at the University if Cincinnati.
As long as he's healthy, Peko will start as one of the team's defensive tackles. Who plays next to him has yet to be determined but right now, Tank Johnson is on top of the depth chart.
Hopefully he's right. Allowing 34 points to the Detroit Lions in the preseason opener wasn't the start I wanted to see from the Bengals defense in 2011. However, as long as they preform when it matters, I don't really care what they did in their first game that didn't matter.
So Peko and the Bengals defense have three more weeks to make a push to improve from where they were Friday night. I hope they don't waste a minute of that time.