The Bengals went to Chicago to face off against the Bears. Both teams finished the 2012 season with a 10-6 record, though it was only the Bengals who made it into the playoffs. The Bears were favored by three, and in the end, they won exactly by three. However, the Bengals looked like the better team throughout much of the game, beating themselves by turning the ball over three times. The Bears managed 14 points off those three turnovers.
Here's what some of the top football minds around the country are saying about the Bengals following their disappointing Week 1 loss.
- King lists the Bengals at No. 11 in his Fine 15, saying:
11. Cincinnati (0-1). A.J. Green is a very tall Gumby.
- King went on to say that he was impressed with the improvement of Andy Dalton's down-field passing game, saying, "All offseason, the Bengals worked on Andy Dalton throwing the deep ball better. And boom -- first quarter, at Chicago, Dalton threw it up deep downfield for A.J. Green. Complete. Gain of 42."
- He went on to say that Green "abused" Charles Tillman, who is an excellent cornerback.
Daugherty, who is often very critical of the Bengals, said the team can blame their loss on the fact they "played dumb." Daugherty said that it wasn't the Bears who beat the Bengals, but the Bengals who beat themselves.
The Bengals beat the Bengals, with an assist from the Chicago Bears. They are similar teams, both 10-6 last year, both at the top of the NFL's bloated middle class. Most NFL games are close, and most close games are decided by a few plays, either smart or dumb. On Sunday, the Bengals played dumb. The result was a 24-21 defeat that left the Bengals angry, frustrated and feeling as if they'd lost their lunch money.
With the Bears behind 21-17, Jay Cutler engineered an eight-play, 81-yard drive and hit Brandon Marshall for the go-ahead 19-yard touchdown. Cutler completed 3 of 4 passes for 63 yards, and scrambled for an 18-yard gain. That drive should give Cutler's teammates confidence in his ability to lead in crunch time, while giving the quarterback belief in Marc Trestman's offense.
The Bengals had 8 penalties for 84 yards. There's a certain penalty that went for 15 yards and a guaranteed first down. I think the Bengals' coaches are going to be pretty livid for a couple days on that particular penalty. There's never an excuse for committing a personal foul, unnecessary roughness penalty that can give the other team the game. Especially when they had just held the Bears to a fourth down and would get the ball back otherwise. Thanks, Ray Maualuga. The Bears may well have gone on to win the game anyway, but that penalty completely took away any chance of the Bengals coming back.
First off, so, A.J. Green is pretty damn good. I don't think he's quite the athlete Calvin Johnson is, which makes Johnson so dangerous, but Green's a savvy receiver that knows how to play some football. He was doing some dangerous things to the Bears in the first half, and I'm glad the Bengals stopped going to him when they did. The Bears just didn't have much of an answer for Green and Charles Tillman had a hard time keeping up with him.
I still really like the Bengals overall this season, but lacking the killer instinct to put what a wounded Bears team away, up 11 on the road, is troubling. The game seemed to turn when Matt Forte got to the edge with relative ease to convert a fourth-and-short, leading Chicago's comeback. Cincy's game with the Steelers next week will take on even more significance with both clubs looking for their first win. Of course, in what was for me a surprise weekend, anyway, the AFC North going 0-4 ranks right up there in things I didn't see coming.
Jay Cutler hooked up with Brandon Marshall for the go-ahead score in the fourth quarter, but it was a sloppy performance in Chicago.
Although the Bengals were up 11 in the third, the Bears would create a turnover and capitalize.
Chicago's defense picked up where it left off from a season ago by forcing three turnovers.
Marvin Lewis, really?: I cannot believe that a team with the second most tenured head coach in the NFL, with a defensive coordinator (Mike Zimmer) who many believe is good enough to be an NFL head coach, with a former NFL head coach on the staff (Hue Jackson) and a seasoned group of assistants would be capable of making such dumb and costly mental mistakes. The Bengals have nobody to blame but themselves for this one. From their lack of time management, to burning all three second-half timeouts with eight minutes left to play, to ridiculous personal foul penalties at critical moments of the game, the Bengals hardly resembled a team that some are predicting could advance to the Super Bowl. Championship teams are disciplined. The Bengals are not. Where is the common sense with this group?