Though we like to post pieces on Cincy Jungle that are interactive with our readers, it's not fun writing out the Goat of the Week posts. For one, football is a team game and nobody likes to be singled out for poor play. And, more obviously, writing these up remind us of a tough Bengals loss. Even though we're pointing at a few players, there is plenty of blame to go around.
We'll start with that vaunted Bengals defensive line and their $55 million man, Geno Atkins. Hopes are high for Atkins to live up to the mega-contract he signed right before the season and Week 1 wasn't his best showing. In fact, one could make the argument that it was one of the star defensive tackles' worst game as a pro. He didn't have a sack or a tackle recorded in the game and only had one quarterback hit. Going up against a questionable Bears offensive line, one would have thought that Atkins would have had the chance to dominate. Not so much.
Second-year cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick was the victim of an age-old NFL adage: he who retaliates is the one who always gets caught. As Josh pointed out on Monday, Kirkpatrick made a costly mistake that showed his inexperience and youth on a special teams scuffle with Eric Weems. The play was part of a sequence at the end of the first half that led to a huge Bears field goal before heading into the locker room. Aside from that Kirkpatrick still hasn't shown the coaches enough to prove that he's capable of a big role on defense--not good for a former first round pick.
Wide receiver Mohamed Sanu had a rough afternoon as well, averaging under five yards per reception on five catches and giving up a huge fumble late in the game. Even the casual NFL fan knows that the Bears' defensive backs feast off of turnovers and are exceptional at stripping the ball. The young Sanu should have kept this in mind as the team was driving to control the game at that point.
This list wouldn't be complete without an appearance from linebacker, Rey Maualuga. In fairness to Maualuga, he had an impressive three quarters of play before a boneheaded penalty that iced the Bengals' fate. While it was just one of a mountain of mistakes by the team on the day, Maualuga's was so obvious because of the timing of it. Maualuga had 13 combined tackles, seven tackles on the day and had a couple of nice open field wrap-ups, but the head-scratcher penalty marred his entire day.
While we tend to reserve this list for players, I'm fairly certain that the comments section here will be calling for fingers to be pointed at the coaching staff. While that would be a most understandable stance to have, we'll keep the list as it is for now.