After each game, I'm going to provide five reactions. My reactions could be about the promising/saddening signs I saw on the field, the bigger picture that may have come into focus with the most recent game, what I hope to see changed or developed further, or just how I feel in general.
We'll call this segment "The Reaction Five."
To hear my reactions, as well as those of John Sheeran and Jordan Harris, watch the following video:
I feel sad. I love all Bengals players, and Shawn Williams is a particularly lovable Bengal. I really, really... really, really hope he's okay. While it hurts to lose a starter, we all know that's the price you pay for the fine tuning you get from the preseason, which brings me to...
I don't need to see A.J. Green playing into the second quarter anymore. I'm convinced, the man is good and knows his plays. There. Now, rest him until the regular season.
After the Bucs game, I tried to convince myself (and John) that the offensive line had made significant progress. Of course, John was right— while we were able to scheme around our deficiencies against Tampa Bay, we shouldn't expect to keep Andy Dalton upright against strong pass rushes like that of the Kansas City Chiefs. Hopefully, some hard running from Joe Mixon will help us reduce the impact during the regular season, which brings me to...
It was great seeing Mixon getting carries in the first quarter, including the third carry of the game. This could mean he's working his way to the top of the depth chart faster than many expected.
I'm not sure who we are defensively. The pass rush should be improved with the additions of Chris Smith and Jordan Willis, who have been tearing it up so far. But we didn't do a great job of tackling (228 yards rushing) or creating turnovers (4 touchdown passes, 0 interceptions) against Kansas City.
I honestly thought the influx of youth would translate to a more fierce playing style. Of course, it's the preseason, so the younger Bengals could still be trying to figure out who they are, and the older guys and new guys could be trying to figure out how to play together.