The Cincinnati Bengals were supposed to be a changed team.
They started off 4-1 last season and 0-2 this season. Now, before getting all up in arms at that statement, I am aware how much better than expected the team looked after Week 1.
However, many of the old habits of that plagued the Marvin Lewis-era reared their ugly head in Week 2. It was difficult to watch if we’re being honest. The Bengals allowed over 40 points to a team without a top-tier offense in their home opener.
The Bengals, who had preseason playoff aspirations, now have under a 5% chance to make the playoffs, according to a recent story by ESPN’s Bill Barnwell. He does go into detail on how there may be some hope on the horizon though if they can string together a few victories.
“With no timetable for a Green return, Cincy has road games against the Bills, Steelers and Ravens, plus a home game against the Rams before their Week 9 bye, albeit with winnable home games against the Cardinals and Jaguars. If the Bengals can win those two and snatch two victories on the road, they’ll be in play for a second-half burst at 4-4, especially if one of those road wins comes against an AFC North rival.”
No A.J. Green is brutal for Cincinnati though. New head coach Zac Taylor loves the three wide receiver sets and putting Green alongside Boyd and the much-improved John Ross III would all Dalton a trio of dangerous weapons, potentially igniting the offense.
It also appears 2018 first-round Billy Price will get another shot with the offense line as well.
If he can produce what was originally expected of him and Green can return prior to Week 5, this team has a chance, but it starts with a Week 3 victory in Buffalo against a surprisingly 2-0 Bills team.
That said, Bills’ quarterback Josh Allen has looked solid to start the season, and he must be contained. Cincinnati’s defense must be better in Week 2, but there’s hope that they can be.
Overall, if Cincinnati wants a chance at conquering the Ravens or Browns in the AFC North or even securing a wild card spot, they’ll need to return to their Week 1 form immediately.