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Bengals fans react to the big problems that led to Cincinnati’s loss to the Panthers

Andy Dalton’s four interceptions weren’t even close to the biggest problem on Sunday, which is saying a lot.

NFL: Cincinnati Bengals at Carolina Panthers Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

The Bengals’ first loss of the season left Cincinnati fans upset and looking for answers to questions that can’t be answered.

Some people think John Ross is an “experiment” that needs to end. Those people are overreacting, though Ross played very poorly in the Bengals’ loss to the Panthers and Andy Dalton was intercepted twice when targeting the second-year receiver.

Other fans were angry about the run defense, which was non-existent against the Panthers as Christian McCaffrey rushed for 184 yards and Cam Newton added 36 including two rushing touchdowns.

A.J. Green’s injury also has fans worried, as it should. Marvin Lewis said he’s “not sure” if Green will play next week in Atlanta, though Green sounded more confident that he will play. Green suffered what the Bengals are calling a groin injury on Sunday.

Dre Kirkpatrick is also receiving a lot of grief from fans. The Panthers identified him as the Bengals’ weakest link in the secondary and targeted him all game long. The results worked in Carolina’s favor, heavily. It’s a little scary to think what the Falcons will do against Green next week.

I’ve been one of Kirkpatrick’s longest-standing supporters, but as of now, I cannot defend him.

With Preston Brown still injured and Vontaze Burfict suspended, the Bengals’ linebackers played a weak game.

Meanwhile, the Bengals’ pass rush has been suspect and Carlos Dunlap was the only player to record a sack for Cincinnati. Even that play was a letdown as he had a strip sack that Carolina somehow recovered.

Sam Hubbard explained after the game why he was unable to recover the ball.

Even with how badly Cincinnati played, they were still in the matchup through nearly the end. It was just mistake after mistake that destroyed them.

They beat themselves.

Some of the questions that can’t be answered definitely go to Teryl Austin, whose play calling and defense have been questionable, at best. Even when the Bengals were winning in Weeks 1-2 that was true. The Bengals’ defense seems overly soft and opposing offenses have way too much room to work with.

The Bengals lost by 10 with a final score of 31-21, but didn’t it seem worse?

In summary...

The Bengals have a lot to work on this week as the 2-1 team prepares for the 1-2 Falcons.

And that will be the final game without Burfict, so there’s that!