The Cincinnati Bengals were stunned on Sunday by Week 8’s passing leader, Mike White.
Mike White, a name many had never heard of before Sunday, annihilated the Bengals. Cincinnati was giving him short, easy passes, and he took them with ease. Also, one of the worse rushing teams in the NFL absolutely ran all over Cincinnati.
Overall, while the offense shot themselves in the foot a handful of times and had a chance at a game-winning drive, it was the defense that should be most embarrassed from this performance.
The Bengals scored 31 points and gave up 34, now dropping to 5-3. That said, national media’s portrayal of Cincinnati prior to that game had them on the brink or within the top ten.
Now, they’re far from getting back to that level. Let’s dive into where they’re being ranked.
ESPN — No. 9 - Down from No. 7
Cincinnati’s boom-or-bust offense is a problem. The Bengals rank 31st in plays per drive and have the second-highest three-and-out percentage in the league. And yet, Cincinnati is still fourth in touchdowns. But the inability to sustain drives has proved to be a problem, as evidenced by the minus-71 play differential, which is also the second highest in the league. If that trend continues, it will continue to place significant pressure on the defense and leave that side of the ball weary in December, which is when the Bengals are hoping to secure their first playoff berth since 2015. — Ben Baby
NFL.com — No. 11 - Down from No. 7
The Bengals were shredded by Mike White on Sunday, an outcome that only the most emotionally broken of Cincinnati fans could have predicted. White, a backup making his first career start, became the first Jets QB to throw for 400 yards in two decades and carved up the Cincinnati defense for 32 first downs — New York’s most in a game since 1988. The Bengals’ offense wasn’t innocent here, either, squandering opportunities early and letting the game slip away late following a Joe Burrow interception in the fourth quarter. Cincy blew an 11-point fourth-quarter lead against a one-win team — it’s the type of loss that prompts closer examination of who these Bengals really are.
The Ringer — No. 12
CBS Sports — No. 11 - Down from No. 7
They just can’t handle prosperity. After blowing out the Ravens, how can they lose to the Jets? The defense wasn’t good.
Sports Illustrated — No. 13
The Bengals have climbed up from the very bottom of the football world, and are in Year 2 with a young QB they drafted with the first pick. So they are allowed growing pains—like a loss to the Jets—because the line to success is usually not linear. I’m sure fans are not happy about what happened, but it happens. If the Bengals win 11 games and go to the playoffs, with some thrilling wins along the way, they should be perfectly happy with that outcome. They should not recalibrate expectations and think they’re a Super Bowl contender just because they held the No. 1 seed after Week 7. I think they’ll learn from this, right the ship and keep the fun season moving along. That still sounds pretty good!
Yahoo! Sports — No. 11 - Down from No. 7
Ouch. The Bengals had to feel like they were making strides with the win over the Ravens, but they gave all of those gains back losing to the Jets. And for fans who rightfully complain about that terrible unnecessary roughness call that practically ended the game, beating the Jets shouldn’t come down to one penalty call. It was a really, really bad loss by a young team that might have gotten a valuable lesson in handling prosperity.
Sporting News — No. 11 - Down from No. 8
What was that? The Bengals perhaps had a big letdown after blowing out the Ravens on the road in Week 8, by letting the Jets hang around until they made enough mistakes to create a shocking upset defeat. The offense and defense had more big moments, but there was too much untimely and uncharacteristic sloppiness. Zac Taylor needs a cleanup, fast, with the Browns next.
NBC Sports — No. 12 - Down from No 10
The Bengals hype train came to a screeching halt Sunday as they were beaten by the Mike White-led Jets on Sunday, 34-31. RIP to all of those NFL survivor pools out there, including my own.