After a humiliating loss to the Baltimore Ravens in Week 5, the Cincinnati Bengals just out to a strong start against the Indianapolis Colts to kick off Week 6. Sadly, as the Bengals usual, their 21-0 was erased.
Their offensive started to stall, and their defensive allowed big play after big play. With four plays of 20 or more yards including a 55-yard bomb to Marcus Johnson, both the team’s secondary and line struggled following the first few drives.
The Colts eventually won this game after outscoring the Bengals by ten or more in both the second and fourth quarter. For Cincinnati, that makes their third one-score loss this season.
Not winless, the Bengals are still in a better position than they were at this time last year, but at 1-4-1, they certainly should’ve have moved up in the power rankings from the national media.
That said, let’s dive into where the team stands ahead of their Week 7 battle with the Cleveland Browns.
Reader suffered a season-ending quad injury in a Week 5 defeat against the Ravens. Before that, Reader was living up to his $53 million contract and solidified a defensive line that has dealt with injuries and an opt-out. He was everything the Bengals were looking for when they signed him this offseason and was in position to help Cincinnati maximize DT Geno Atkins’ snaps. But with Reader on IR and gone for the year, the patchwork required on the defensive interior becomes increasingly difficult. — Ben Baby
In many ways, the Bengals are playing with house money this year. The wins and losses don’t really matter, and they can consider it a successful season if Joe Burrow and some of the other young players on the roster develop. But wins are still nice! And that’s a major disappointment to blow a 24–0 lead against the Colts in what should have been a bounce-back game after having the doors blown off against the Ravens. But young teams must learn lessons like this in the journey up from the bottom.
They blew a 21-0 lead against the Colts in a loss, which is a bad look. But this is a young team that will have those growing pains. Now they get the Browns.
The Bengals played well Sunday, but they were beaten by a better and more experienced Colts team, 31-27. Rookie quarterback Joe Burrow tallied his fourth 300-yard performance in six games for Cincinnati.
Tee Higgins had six catches for 125 yards. He was the first pick of the second round and the Bengals should feel very grateful that many teams at the bottom of the first round — hello, Packers — passed on him. He and Joe Burrow are a nice 1-2 punch out of this draft.