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Bengals vs. Cardinals snap count takeaways: The time to play younger players is now

The Bengals are 0-5, and any hopes of saving the season were left on the field. Now should be the time for younger players to get some valuable snaps.

Cincinatti Bengals v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

No one wants to hear after Week 5 that their favorite team’s season is over. However, with the Bengals sitting at 0-5, it would take a few miracles to save this season for Cincinnati.

It is unfortunate, but there are still things that can be done this season to keep it from being truly a waste. There are some young players who could benefit greatly from being on the field more, and the Bengals can hopefully evaluate who are building blocks and who needs replaced in the foundation of this team.

Here are this week’s snap count takeaways:

  • First and foremost, we have to look at who out snapped who during the game. The Cardinals ran 77 plays to the Bengals 67. Similar to last week, the Bengals’ offense wasn’t completely stopped in its tracks all day, they moved the ball into the red zone on several occasions. However, it took until the fourth quarter before they were able to come away with a touchdown. The defense also limited big plays, and they forced the Cardinals into similar situations of having to settle for field goals. It just came down to Arizona being able to sustain just a few more drives than Cincinnati.
  • If the Bengals aren’t going to unleash Tyler Eifert against the Cardinals when they are down three starting wide receivers, then when will they? Eifert only had 18 snaps on the day, and it is maddening to watch at this point. Honestly, if this is how they plan on using him over this season they may as well trade him and free up more snaps for rookie tight end Drew Sample (15). At this point they are wasting Eifert and Sample’s season with this three-tight end committee that fails to make an impact on an offense starving for any sort of playmaker.
  • Now an area they need to start more of a rotation at (still) is linebacker. Preston Brown (63) and Nick Vigil (70) both played a vast majority of the game. I’m not saying if they inject Germaine Pratt into the lineup their defense changes overnight, but the rookie has the talent to be more involved than just nine snaps. It is time to start working him more into the rotation. He needs a chance to learn on the job, and the coaches need to figure out if he should be viewed as a prominent part of the future going forward, or if they need to bring in competition next offseason.
  • Defensive linemen Ryan Glasgow (22) and Carl Lawson (47) coming back healthy helped create a better rotation along the line. Carlos Dunlap (57) and Sam Hubbard (59) weren’t forced to play 90 percent of the snaps, which helped late in the game, and Glasgow helped create some positive plays when he made his way onto the field. Lawson failed to make a few plays on the field, but hopefully that was more due to shaking off the rust than anything.
  • As far as the offensive line goes, rookie guard Michael Jordan played every snap. The only offensive lineman to miss time was Andre Smith (31) who suffered an injury during the game, which gave John Jerry (36) more time at left tackle.
  • Joe Mixon (42) and Giovani Bernard (39) shared the field for what was probably the first time all season. With all the injuries the Bengals have suffered this season, they should explore doing this more often. At the very least it led to a crucial first down in the red zone.
  • It looks like we will see plenty of Cincinnati’s young receivers. Alex Erickson (15) started the game in John Ross III’s place, but then he left with a concussion. Auden Tate (67) played every snap, and we also saw Damion Willis (40) return to a prominent role. Even fellow undrafted rookie Stanley Morgan (3) saw time on the field. He even recorded his first career reception.

Bengals’ snap counts against the Cardinals

# POS. NAME Snaps Percentage of snaps
# POS. NAME Snaps Percentage of snaps
83 WR Tyler Boyd 66 99
15 WR Damion Willis 40 60
17 WR Stanley Morgan 3 4
12 WR Alex Erickson 15 22
19 WR Auden Tate 67 100
18 WR A.J. Green DNP DNP
77 OT Cordy Glenn DNP DNP
71 OT Andre Smith 31 46
68 OT Bobby Hart 67 100
67 OG John Miller 67 100
60 OG Michael Jordan 67 100
64 OG John Jerry 36 54
66 C Trey Hopkins 67 100
53 C Billy Price -- --
87 TE C.J. Uzomah 43 64
89 TE Drew Sample 15 22
85 TE Tyler Eifert 18 27
82 TE Cethan Carter -- --
14 QB Andy Dalton 67 100
7 QB Jake Dolegala DNP DNP
5 QB Ryan Finley -- --
28 RB Joe Mixon 42 63
25 RB Giovani Bernard 26 39
34 RB Samaje Perine -- --
32 RB Trayveon Williams DNP DNP
96 DE Caros Dunlap 57 74
94 DE Sam Hubbard 59 77
72 DE Kerry Wynn DNP DNP
93 DE Andrew Brown 10 13
58 DE Carl Lawson 47 61
97 DT Geno Atkins 55 71
99 DT Andrew Billings 38 49
91 DT Josh Tupou 21 27
95 DT Renell Wren DNP DNP
98 DT Ryan Glasgow 22 29
59 LB Nick Vigil 70 91
57 LB Germaine Pratt 9 12
52 LB Preston Brown 63 82
50 LB Jordan Evans -- --
55 LB LaRoy Reynolds 4 5
27 CB Dre Kirkpatrick 77 100
22 CB William Jackson 77 100
29 CB Tony McRae 9 12
26 CB Greg Mabin DNP DNP
20 CB Torry McTyer -- --
23 CB B.W. Webb 76 99
36 S Shawn Williams 59 77
42 S Clayton Fejedelem 18 23
30 S Jessie Bates III 76 99
40 S Brandon Wilson 1 1

What was your biggest snap count takeaway from Week 5?