It was an ugly night in a number of ways for the Bengals on Saturday night—and we aren’t just talking about the loss. Cincinnati was less physical than the Chiefs, while Kansas City was far more sound in almost every aspect on the evening.
However, we all know that preseason losses don’t mean very much, but what did matter was the seemingly-severe injuries the Bengals accrued on the evening. Shawn Williams had a scary injury to his arm, while rookie linebacker Hardy Nickerson, Jr. left with a grimace-inducing lower back ailment.
What made Week 2 of the preseason also frustrating was the lack of progress from last week. After a nice debut against the Buccaneers, we saw the team erode in many facets of performance. Is a Jekyll-and-Hyde look from the Bengals what we should expect from week to week this year?
We went live on Facebook to talk about the game and answer some of the questions of those who follow us. If you haven’t done so yet, “like” our page for all sorts of updates. Here are some of the topics we spoke about after the game:
What to do at safety?
Though we don’t know just how severe Williams’ injury is quite yet, it’s been an awful summer to be in the Bengals’ back end of the secondary. George Iloka and Derron Smith were injured early in camp, while Brandon Wilson, a sixth0round pick this year, might not see the field at all in 2017.
After Williams was carted off of the field, Smith and Josh Shaw took over his duties and the results weren’t good. Both let up a touchdown apiece to tight end Demetrius Harris, continuing a troubling trend from 2016. Both guys need to step up their game.
New faces continue to shine:
Lost in the injuries and many poor performances on Saturday was the continuous impressiveness of the rookies and other new arrivals to the Bengals. Joe Mixon didn’t have a great stat line, but still made a number of nifty plays with very limited space. Josh Malone had three catches for 35 yards, while Jake Elliott was 2-for-2 once again on field goal attempts.
And how about Chris Smith? After giving up minimal draft collateral to trade for him, the guy just keeps making plays. Granted, most of the pressures have come against backups, but he’s still making quite the push to make the final roster.
Although the Bengals have seemed to have remedied the kicking situation under control for the time being, the inability to cover a tight end, staggering run defense issues and struggles to get into the end zone marked Saturday. And, if you watched this team at all last year, you’d know that these were all major aspects that led to a six-win season.
If these problems had occurred in Week 1 of the preseason, we all might have shrugged them off. However, a digression this Saturday in these aspects brings cause for concern.
What were some of your takeaways in the Bengals’ loss to the Chiefs?