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Bengals snap count takeaways: Tyler Eifert still being preserved despite offensive woes

The Bengals are a bad team tying one arm behind their back going into a fight.

Cincinnati Bengals v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images

Monday Night Football was not kind to the Bengals.

Many fans had hopes that a clash with a wounded Steelers team under the lights may be able to spark some hope for the rest of the season. Those dreams were dashed pretty early into the third quarter.

The snap counts don’t tell the story of how thoroughly bad the Bengals’ performance was because honestly, aside from a handful of drives, the Steelers’ offense wasn’t very good. It was a matter of the Bengals’ offense failing to even show up against one of the worst teams in the NFL coming into the game that made this loss a true gut punch.

Still, the snaps tell us something. Is it one fans are going to like to hear? Probably not, but at this point we have to be critical of a team that is 0-4.

Here are this week’s snap count takeaways:

  • The Bengals out snapped the Steelers 69 to 59. The Bengals even won time of possession (by less than a minute). So why was this such a lopsided game? The Steelers had drives where they could move the ball, and when they did they scored. They also had a big play for a touchdown. Cincinnati was bad offensively, but they had shots in the red zone where they either turned it over or they got a turnover on downs.
  • Tyler Eifert’s usage continues to be troubling. He only played 21 snaps. In those snaps he caught two passes for 21 yards and was targeted twice in the endzone (one of which he dropped). I get they want to preserve Eifert, but this offense that is trying to get by without A.J. Green, and they need a spark. We are watching a healthy Eifert being preserved on an 0-4 team. Tell me how that makes sense.
  • Last week we saw Billy Price show some good things against the Bills (not perfect, but good) in Michael Jordan’s absence, so the assumption was that we may get to see Price start again. Why wouldn’t you ride the hot hand when your offensive line has been terrible? Instead we saw Jordan (64) handed back his job once healthy and get manhandled most of Monday Night. Price (5) eventually was put in, and he quickly gave up a sack as well. Was it a matter of a cold Price coming in against a red hot defensive front for Pittsburgh? Who knows. Either way, it was frustrating to see a good performance go unrewarded at a position that has been the weak link on this offense.
  • Let’s look at the defensive line for a second. The lack of Carl Lawson and Kerry Wynn again caused the Bengals to play Carlos Dunlap (53) and Sam Hubbard (48) far longer than they should be playing. The team is just fortunate they didn’t have to field their defense for upwards of 70 snaps like last week. If Lawson and Wynn can’t go again next week the Bengals need to make a move to add another body to that rotation.
  • Speaking of rotations, the linebackers need to be on more of one. Preston Brown (47) and Nick Vigil (50) played a vast majority of the snaps again. They made some plays, but it has been obvious that opposing offenses are scheming plays to get their skill position players in open field match ups with Brown and Vigil, and it works way too often. Meanwhile, Germaine Pratt saw an uptick in snaps from 10 to 12. He may not completely fix the issue, but something needs to be done to inject some excitement back into this defense.
  • The return of B.W. Webb (39) at cornerback took away most opportunities for Tony McRae (4) and Brandon Wilson (7). It would’ve been interesting to see if Darius Phillips could’ve gotten some of the snaps that a cast wearing Webb was shouldering, but he was placed on injured reserve after a breakout game last week. We are only a few weeks away from Darqueze Dennard returning from the physically unable to perform (PUP) list, so it will be interesting to see what dynamic he adds.
  • Young players receiving snaps include undrafted rookie Damion Willis (24) getting back into the action. Drew Sample (21) also saw sometime at tight end. Renell Wren (11) also got into the defensive tackle rotation with Ryan Glasgow still unable to play.

Bengals’ snap counts against the Steelers

# POS. NAME Snaps Percentage of snaps
# POS. NAME Snaps Percentage of snaps
83 WR Tyler Boyd 64 93
15 WR Damion Willis 24 35
11 WR John Ross 46 65
12 WR Alex Erickson 5 7
19 WR Auden Tate 63 91
18 WR A.J. Green DNP DNP
77 OT Cordy Glenn DNP DNP
71 OT Andre Smith 56 81
68 OT Bobby Hart 69 100
67 OG John Miller 69 100
60 OG Michael Jordan 64 93
64 OG John Jerry 13 19
66 C Trey Hopkins 69 100
53 C Billy Price 5 7
87 TE C.J. Uzomah 28 41
89 TE Drew Sample 21 30
85 TE Tyler Eifert 29 42
82 TE Cethan Carter 1 1
14 QB Andy Dalton 69 100
7 QB Jake Dolegala DNP DNP
5 QB Ryan Finley -- --
28 RB Joe Mixon 42 61
25 RB Giovani Bernard 23 33
34 RB Samaje Perine -- --
32 RB Trayveon Williams DNP DNP
96 DE Caros Dunlap 53 90
94 DE Sam Hubbard 48 81
72 DE Kerry Wynn DNP DNP
93 DE Andrew Brown 15 25
58 DE Carl Lawson DNP DNP
97 DT Geno Atkins 47 80
99 DT Andrew Billings 46 78
91 DT Josh Tupou 30 51
95 DT Renell Wren 13 22
98 DT Ryan Glasgow DNP DNP
59 LB Nick Vigil 50 85
57 LB Germaine Pratt 12 20
52 LB Preston Brown 47 80
50 LB Jordan Evans 5 8
55 LB LaRoy Reynolds 6 10
27 CB Dre Kirkpatrick 55 93
22 CB William Jackson 55 93
29 CB Tony McRae 4 7
26 CB Greg Mabin -- --
20 CB Torry McTyer
23 CB B.W. Webb 39 66
36 S Shawn Williams 59 100
42 S Clayton Fejedelem -- --
30 S Jessie Bates III 59 100
40 S Brandon Wilson 7 12