The Cincinnati Bengals thankfully pulled their record even at 3-3 in Week 6, and they will be going into a bye with some sense of optimism.
Having the 49ers on the road and then the Bills at home on the docket for the next few weeks could be a recipe for trouble, but getting to this point has seemed far more difficult than many predicted prior to the season’s commencement.
The fantastic play of second-year cornerback Cam Taylor-Britt has been a huge positive for Cincinnati, but the noticeable issues on the offensive side of the ball should leave fans wanting more, especially with two elite defenses in their immediate future.
That said, confidence is still there for Cincinnati, with the majority of fans believing the team is headed in the right direction. The number this week is at 63%, lower than it was before the win over the win over the Seahawks.
The offensive concerns, despite a strong defensive showing, likely was the main cause for this drop. The Bengals won 17-13 but had over 100 fewer passing yards and over 40 fewer rushing yards against Seattle.
Now, the age-old phrase “a win is a win” still applies here, but for the sake of confidence. moving forward, how you win also matters. The team has some clear holes, and the offensive play-calling must improve.
That said, there is one way to easily improve, and that’s with a trade. What do the Bengals need? Well, that’s been answered by fans as well, and it is tight end, a position currently occupied by the injury-prone Irv Smith Jr.
Smith Jr. has also only played in four games this season and has just 11 targets, catching 6 of those for 32 yards. It just hasn’t been a great showing for the explosive, big-play tight end. His health is also a factor down the stretch.
The ideal targets are either Darren Waller or Hunter Henry. With both the Giants and Patriots unlikely to be contenders this season, both of those players could be on the trading block for almost nothing.
While the Bengals may ultimately stay put, one should expect some movement as their obvious Super Bowl window may start to close with rookie contracts starting to expire in the next few years.
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