The Cincinnati Bengals fell to 0-3 this week, but there were signs of optimism.
The Bengals offense actually scored two touchdowns, and William Jackson took back an interception for a touchdown. Plenty of younger Bengals also got playing time this week.
Andy Dalton turned in a fine looking game, but a few bad throws and decisions ultimately cost the Bengals their upset over the Packers. Dalton finished the day with two touchdowns and completed 21 of 27 passing attempts. A.J. Green also put recorded his best performance of the season with 10 catches for 111 yards and the Bengals first touchdown of the season.
The defense sacked Aaron Rodgers six times and really gave all the Packers all they could handle. Unfortunately, the defense got tired out towards the end of the game, and the record hot day at Lambeau Field was just too much.
The Bengals season seems over before it even started. At 0-3 only five teams of 168 have made the playoffs.
Fortunately, the Bengals have a three-game stretch where they can make up some ground. They play the Browns, Bills and Steelers in the next three weeks. That stretch could make or break their season.
Snap count takeaways:
- Joe Mixon becomes the feature back. After Giovani Bernard had dominated the majority of snaps it seems that Bill Lazor was given the green light to unleash the rookie. Mixon got most of the snaps (34), and compared to Bernard (13) and Jeremy Hill (14), it is clear the future is now at the tailback position as Mixon finished with 101 total yards on 21 touches. Bernard was the one who ended up catching the touchdown pass early in the first quarter though on a missed assignment from the Packers.
- Jackson finally gets a chance. The weather on Sunday in Green Bay was unbearable, which led to the Bengals rotating their corners a little bit. Jackson came in for Adam Jones, and he got beat on a flea flicker. However, he came back and returned an interception for a touchdown. It was only Rodgers’ second pick-six of his career. Curiously enough though it didn’t get Jackson many more snaps (14).
- Andre Smith got in the mix at tackle. The Bengals claim due to the weather that they decided to rotate their offensive tackles on Sunday. Smith got his first snaps at tackle (26), which was unusual because Cedric Ogbuehi (49) and Jake Fisher (47) both had played every snap the past few games. It is hard to actually determine if this will become a trend, or if it was because of the weather as the team says. For what it’s worth Russell Bodine, T.J. Johnson and Clint Boling played every snap Sunday.
- Tyler Boyd shared the third receiver role. The Bengals without Tyler Eifert or John Ross had a lot of offensive firepower to fill in. Boyd was a healthy scratch last week, which led to Alex Erickson receiving more snaps in the slot. While Boyd was out there more this week (30) Erickson (13) and Cody Core (5) also kicked in a few plays.
- The Bengals changed it up with the defensive line. Pat Sims was essentially benched only appearing on a few plays (10). Most of this could be due to Michael Johnson playing plenty of defensive tackle. Johnson was out there most of the game (57), but he spent most of his time in the middle of the defensive line. This could’ve been due to Carl Lawson bursting onto the scene with 2.5 sacks (technically 3.5, but one was called back because of a penalty.) Lawson was rewarded with plenty of playing time (55), but it also took snaps away from Chris Smith (22) and Jordan Willis (13) each seeing significantly less playing time.
- Nick Vigil has played every snap (70) the past two weeks for the Bengals on defense. It is clear the Bengals like him over Kevin Minter (13) for the nickel linebacker position. The team also relied on Vincent Rey (61) for the last week of Vontaze Burfict’s suspension.
- The Bengals did a lot this week in terms of getting new guys out there, and it will be interesting to see if they continue to change things up with players who aren’t performing up to snuff. It’d also be nice for them to reward more young productive players like Jackson.
Bengals Week 3 Snap Counts vs Packers
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