Once again, the Bengals get demolished on a primetime stage. Their 45-10 defeat to the Kansas City Chiefs is just the latest example of their ineptitude to prepare and execute under the bright lights.
While it was frustrating that the same issues seemed to haunt the Bengals, this was a game that their offense should’ve at least kept it close throughout the game. Instead, the entire team made the Chiefs look like the team of the decade. And maybe they are. Patrick Mahomes’ arm talent is something else and Andy Reid is getting the most out of him.
But amidst the Bengals colossal loss, there was one player that should feel good about himself:
A.J. Green: At one point, the entire Bengals offense was quarterback Andy Dalton targeting his favorite receiver.
Per ESPN Stats and Info: from SIG: Andy Dalton is averaging 13.8 yards per attempt targeting A.J. Green and 0.6 yards per attempt on all other passes.— Katherine Terrell (@Kat_Terrell) October 22, 2018
At the end of the day, this reality was the same. Green accounted for nearly 80% of Dalton’s passing yards. If it wasn’t for Running back Joe Mixon’s 50 yards on the ground, the Bengals wouldn’t have moved the ball without Green.
Andy Dalton: Did he play awful for most of the game? No, but the NFL is so quarterback driven that it’s nearly impossible to win if your quarterback gets outplayed. Dalton lead two scoring drives and finished his performance with 148 yards on 15-29 passing with a touchdown and a pick-six each. On the other side, Patrick Mahomes torched the Bengals defense with 358 yards passing and four touchdowns. The Bengals needed to keep up with Mahomes, and Dalton and the Bengals offense didn’t do nearly enough.
Anyone who tried to tackle Kareem Hunt: This may as well include the entire defense. The Chiefs running back had yards from scrimmage and three touchdowns. A lot of those yards came after contact and by default, missed tackles.
The main culprits were Dre Kirkpatrick and Vontaze Burfict, who specifically had another underwhelming game before he left the contest with a hip injury. The Bengals looked soft on defense and it started from their veteran leaders who just didn’t get the job done.
Carl Lawson: After not playing much against the Steelers, Lawson saw a lot more action against the Chiefs, but he didn’t create much pressure in the process. Through seven games, Lawson only has one sack and his inability to win off the snap against the Chiefs was a major problem. While Geno Atkins, Carlos Dunlap got pressure in Mahomes’ face, Lawson struggled, and probably deserves some flack for his lack of finishing this season.
Bobby Hart: The Bengals right tackle had a solid performance last week against the Steelers, but he came back down to earth tonight. Hart got beat by Dee Ford multiple times off the edge, and committed a crucial false start penalty that drove the offense back five yards on third down. Two plays later...
Clayton Fejedelem: The Bengals were attempting to punt for the third time of the night near midfield, and their special teams captain got in the way of the snap, leading to the ball hitting off of his arm and the Bengals losing 11 yards on fourth down. The Chiefs would score their second touchdown and take a 14-point lead early in the second quarter, swinging the momentum in their favor and creating a deficit the Bengals couldn’t overcome.
Marvin Lewis: Many fans have gripes about defensive coordinator Teryl Austin for consistently underutilizing his defense week after week. Offensive coordinator Bill Lazor also deserves fault for the offense only scoring twice against one of the worst defenses in the league.
But this is Marvin Lewis’ team, and once again, he failed to prepare his team in a primetime game. The coordinators may change, the assistants may change, but some things never do. Lewis has no excuse after 15-and-a-half years to continually get embarrassed on the national stage.