The Cincinnati Bengals finally got their first win of the season against the Cleveland Browns. It was nice seeing the Bengals get their first win in such an easy way after suffering a narrow loss to the Packers.
There were admittedly lots of good signs in the game and the Bengals hope to carry that momentum into a tougher game against the Bills. The Bills just beat the Falcons, and their defense has looked legit so far.
If the Bengals managed to beat on the Bills talented defense that would be a good sign for Lazor and Dalton moving forward and should give them some good momentum.
1. Mixon is finally taking the majority of the snaps for the Bengals.
Since being drafted many people thought Mixon would immediately take the starting job and become the Bengals star running back. However, for the first two weeks of Zampese that was not the case as Mixon didn’t take the majority of the snaps.
Now, with Lazor Mixon has been taking over the starring role and that looks to be the case going forward. Despite the bad offensive line play Mixon has looked very good as both a runner and a receiver. Something that would help the Bengals would be to diversify the running attack to make it less predictable.
2. The offense is being run through A.J. Green
Despite the game going well very early the game still featured Green in a good capacity. More importantly in the past two games with Lazor it was a key to get Green the ball. Green is by far our best receiver and especially with Eifert and Ross out he should be the complete focal point of the offense. We need to feed our star receiver and keep him happy. Also, it is generally just a good idea to throw it to A.J. Green.
3. Even without Eifert, Tyler Kroft did his best impersonation with two touchdowns
The Bengals red zone efficiency in 2016 was very inefficient and a big reason the team struggled. It was not looking good to start the year as Eifert has gotten very few targets especially in the red zone and has already started to struggle with injuries.
However, the worries about Eifert temporarily disappeared on Sunday as Tyler Kroft caught two touchdown passes against the Browns. The Browns typically struggle against tight ends, but hopefully this is a sign of things to come and between Kroft and Uzomah the Bengals can more than just get by at the tight end position.
4. The offense has started to use more pre-snap reads to help Dalton succeed
Dalton is extremely good at making pre-snap reads and changing the call at the line to take advantage of matchups. Through the first two games there was very little pre-snap movement to help Dalton make these key reads and succeed. The last two games Dalton has looked much better and those were without two valuable weapons to this team.
Ross seems to be closer to coming back and hopefully Eifert will at some point as well. With all his healthy weapons and the offensive line continuing to gel the offense only figures to get better.
5. Nick Vigil finally had a breakout game against the Browns
The Bengals trusted Nick Vigil to be their starting linebacker going into the season which is rare for a second year player. So far he has rewarded them with decent, but not stellar play. Well finally against the Browns he had his breakout game with 7 tackles and a sack. He was all over the field and hopefully this is a sign of things to come. Ideally Vigil and Burfict will be a great linebacker pairing for the Bengals for the next few years.
The Bengals season certainly didn’t get off to the start anyone hoped for. However, there isn’t a reason to completely give up hope yet with a winnable slate of games coming. The Colts even with Andrew Luck are beatable especially with Luck coming back from injury. With Roethlisberger’s recent poor play the Steelers look very beatable and surprisingly the Bills might be the toughest game of the three although their offense does not have any legitimate threats. With continued improvements and a little bit of luck, the Bengals could be 4-3 after these three games.