Emotions were running high after the Bengals’ loss to the Broncos on Sunday afternoon. And no, I’m not talking about the players’ emotions, I’m talking about that of the fans. The fans who felt the need to boo their team in the home opener at Paul Brown Stadium on Sunday, the fans who took to social media to preach how the season was over (hey guys, it’s Week 3) and the fans who accepted the loss but are frustrated after back-to-back defeats. I can sympathize with those last fans more than the former two. Hey, if you want to count the Bengals out now, I’ll compile a list and when the team makes the playoffs, I’ll be sure to get back in touch with you.
Yes, the Bengals lost, but, there are still 13 games left to be played in the regular-season and there’s a lot to look forward to when it comes to Bengals football. I’m certainly not giving up on the Bengals after Week 3 and would recommend you follow suit.
Here are five things I’m thinking after the Bengals’ loss to the Broncos.
Adam Jones just had his worst game in a long time.
Wow, what was going on with Adam Jones on Sunday? He looked lost and I feel confident saying this was his worst game in well over a year, maybe over two years. Let's review Jones' day, starting in the first quarter. His name was first mentioned for defensive holding. Next, he was in coverage for a 19-yard catch by Emmanuel Sanders, and again in coverage for a 6-yard catch by Demaryius Thomas. He then had a three yard punt return that was fumbled and recovered by former Bengal Shiloh Keo. Now, I don't think it was an actual fumble, this was another opportunity for the refs to make a mis-call, which they did, but, it stood as a fumble.
That was only the first quarter.
In the second quarter, he was in coverage for a 13-yard catch by Andy Janovich (it was reported that he was injured on the play, but he quickly came back in). Jones slightly redeemed himself in the third quarter with a forced fumble on Thomas, which was recovered by Karlos Dansby. Later in the third quarter he had a tackle (shared with Vinny Rey) on C.J. Anderson after a 13-yard run. And, in the fourth quarter, Broncos tight end John Phillips had an 8-yard catch with Jones in coverage, before Bennie Fowler also gained 13 yards through the air before Jones tackled him (along with Shawn Williams). Jones only had one play (that I accounted for, and maybe I missed some) where the person he was covering was targeted and didn't actually make the catch. That one play came in the fourth quarter when Siemian threw a pass to Thomas. Jones got injured again on that play in the fourth quarter, which led to Chris Lewis-Harris entering the game and on the following play, Lewis-Harris allowed Thomas to score a 55-yard touchdown. So, it’s safe to say, Sunday was not a good day for Jones. He is clearly emotionally-driven though, so, I’d expect him to bounce back quickly.
When one Bengals cornerback gets hurt, they all get hurt.
The Bengals cornerbacks took a beating on Sunday, both physically and with their play. At varying points of the game Jones, Dre Kirkpatrick and Josh Shaw all left the game due to injury. It’s never good for three of your cornerbacks to get hurt in one game, but it’s especially bad on a short week. The Bengals’ only practice that’s open to the media this week is on Tuesday, so we’ll likely know more about the extent of players’ injuries then. In addition to the cornerback unit facing injury on Sunday, safety Shawn Williams also left the game, though he returned, and Rey left the game for a concussion evaluation, but also returned.
A.J. Green needs to get more sleep.
Being a new dad is probably amazing, but it also has to be tiring. Green let it be known that he stayed up with his wife throughout the 36-hours during which she was in labor from Tuesday to Wednesday, and then, returned home with a newborn child. Maybe he was off his game this week due to being tired? Or, maybe that’s an unrealistic explanation. But, Green should rest up for the quick turnaround the Bengals will be dealing with this week as they play on Thursday Night Football in just 3 days.
Jeremy Hill deserved a good game, and recognition for it.
I don’t know about you, and I’m certain most people don’t feel this way, but, I’ve felt badly for Jeremy Hill during the last year. He had an incredible rookie season and then couldn’t live up to the expectations he set for himself in his second year. And then, on top of having a season to forget in 2015, Hill fumbled away what could have been the Bengals’ first playoff win in 25 years in January. He was crushed as the game ended (you probably shouldn’t click that link), as was every Bengals fan, and I have been rooting hard for him to make a comeback and return to his rookie form. On Sunday, he had his longest rushing play since Week 16 of 2014, which also came against the Broncos at Paul Brown Stadium, and while he did have some issues throughout the game, overall, his performance on Sunday was a strong one, and one he can build off of moving forward.
Andy Dalton haters will never go away.
I'm confident that Andy Dalton could play a flawless game, and Bengals fans (well, fans might be subjective in this case) will still claim he should be benched in favor of AJ McCarron. I don't really know what to say to these people anymore. Dalton was 21/31 for 206 yards on Sunday. Yes, he had an interception, and yes, it came against a tough Broncos defense. I certainly don't fault him for having one interception on a day when former Bengals quarterbacks Carson Palmer and Ryan Fitzpatrick had five and six each respectively.
Also, take a look at this.
QBs vs DEN Defense— NFL Research (@NFLResearch) September 25, 2016
Last 5 Gms
Dalton: 0 TD, 1 INT
Luck: 1 TD, 1 INT
Newton (Wk 1): 1 TD, 1 INT
Newton (SB): 0 TD, 1 INT
Brady: 1 TD, 2 INT
So, the Broncos are pretty good at making great quarterbacks look bad.
So far this season, Dalton has 938 yards, 2 touchdowns, 2 interceptions and an 89.0 quarterback rating after 3 weeks. He also has the third most passing yards in the league and has completed 65.2 percent of his throws. How are some other quarterbacks, typically considered "elite" playing?
- Russell Wilson has completed 62.8% of his throws, has 1 touchdown and 1 interception.
- Andrew Luck has a 59.8% completion percentage with 5 touchdowns and 1 interception.
- Aaron Rodgers has completed 58.5% of his throws with 7 touchdowns (4 of which came on Sunday) and 1 interception.
- Cam Newton has five touchdowns, 5 interceptions and a 58.3% completion percentage.
And, among quarterbacks with at least 10 passing attempts, Dalton has the 14th best quarterback rating, with Sunday’s game bringing down his average. He had a 114.0 rating in Week 1, 84.3 rating in Week 2 and then a 72.8 rating in Week 3.
There have been only three games, so of course, this is a small sample size, but, Dalton is not the problem, nor reason the Bengals are 1-2. At this point, I realize Dalton haters will not go away, ever.