There are too many reasons to count as to why the Cincinnati Bengals are 0-3.
Most of the blame can be shifted toward the offense, which looked vastly improved against the Green Bay Packers in Week 3, but at the same time, they scored just 17 points in a three-point loss. If not for William Jackson’s pick-six, this game could have turned into a comfortable win for the Packers.
However, the defense was not without fault. For much of the game, Dre Kirkpatrick was the man giving up big play after big play, but this was really his first bad game of the season. He played well in Weeks 1-2, so one awful game is a little more acceptable.
But that’s not the case with Adam Jones, who has put up back-to-back duds to start his 2017 season. After being suspended in Week 1, Jones returned to have a forgettable night in Week 2 versus the Texans, and things only got worse in Green Bay.
Our friends at Pro Football Focus have given us some insight as to how much Jones has struggled in his first two games. In Week 2 versus the Houston Texans, Jones finished with an overall PFF grade of 63.8, including a 59.3 coverage grade.
It got even worse in Week 3, where Jones finished with an overall grade of 41.1. That has him currently holding a 43.2 PFF grade for the season. That’s really bad, and it shows why some of the younger cornerbacks need to be playing more at the expense of Jones.
The play where Jones really blew it was in overtime, where he got smoked by Geronimo Allison for essentially the game-winning play. Not only did he get beat, but he got crossed over twice as Allison made his way to chip-shot field-goal range.
Now, Jones did get off to a slow start in 2016, highlighted by him getting smoked by the Denver Broncos in Week 3, only to rebound and become the team’s top cornerback for the rest of the season. Perhaps Jones will do so again this year, but for now, the Bengals look like they made a mistake keeping Jones this offseason, especially after his offseason arrest.
And to the Bengals’ credit, they may realize this. Jones, who typically plays 90-95 percent of the defensive snaps at cornerback, was taken out of the game for stretches in favor of William Jackson, who scored a pick-six off of Aaron Rodgers.
That helped Jackson earn an 83.4 PFF grade. Jackson hasn’t played enough snaps to qualify for PFF’s rankings, but his 77.4 overall grade would have him among the top 40 cornerbacks.
While Jones probably still has something left in the tank, it’s clear that Jackson has earned the right to take some of Jones’ snaps, if not his starting job.