Dre Kirkpatrick had a game to remember. By our count, he missed at least three tackles, was called for two defensive pass interference penalties, allowed a touchdown to Dez Bryant, and one of those missed tackles led to a DeMarco Murray touchdown -- not that half the defense contributed to their missed tackles or anything. According to Pro Football Focus, Kirkpatrick allowed nine of ten passes to be completed against receivers he covered for 84 yards receiving and an opposing quarterback rating of 141.3.
Forget the previous games, where held receivers to only two receptions on six attempts. This was the worst game in the history of mankind, some are probably arguing. Others are wondering if he can be traded for a fourth-round pick, or moved to safety to make sure he isn't forced to cover people (yes, those words were emailed to me the other day).
Do you know who isn't concerned? Defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer.
"Everybody is all nervous about Kirkpatrick. He got beat up pretty good by Dez Bryant and even a couple of their other guys," Zimmer said via Bengals.com. "If it's a real game, we're doing different things differently. He'll be fine. This is how you learn. You don't learn anything going out and shutting down a guy every time. Terence Newman, when he was a rookie, he had a couple of rough days. That happens in the NFL. They're playing against good players."
Veteran corner Leon Hall chalks it up as a bad day, with the smart advice to forget about it and move on.
"The advice I would give to him is obviously forget about it, but realize what you have to do to try and get through it," Hall said. "It may happen again, but you've got to start that process (on how to fix it). I would assume just knowing him he's disappointed in how he played, but he's a confident player. He's been playing well through camp and in the other preseason games. I think he realizes he's a good player. He just had a bad day."
More alarming is that Kirkpatrick is undergoing concussion protocols after having his bell rung in the final minute of Saturday's game against the Dallas Cowboys. It's the second time that he's dealt with a concussion (missed two games last year because of one).