This Cincinnati Bengals squad started off the year very slowly, similar to the last couple of years, but something seemed off this year, but nobody could put their finger on the exact issue.
Was it play-calling?
Was it attitude?
Was it just an unhealthy Burrow?
Then they traveled out to Glendale, AZ, to face the Cardinals, and Burrow threw for over 300 yards for the first time this season and finally looked like his normal self, while Chase broke the Bengals record for single-game receptions.
In their final game prior to the bye week, they faced a tough Seahawks team and were able to sneak in a much-needed win heading into their bye.
According to profootballnetwork.com, the Bengals have the 4th hardest remaining after the bye. But we’ve already witnessed time and time again, for this team, odds don’t mean a single thing. As long as they come out playing their style of football, it will be tough for anybody to beat them.
Coming into week 8, it's safe to say, the urgency level for this team is high. Don’t mistake that for worried. The urgency level is to keep your eye on the prize, with no distractions, and finish strong, not letting up.
Joe Burrow on the urgency level after the bye week:— Kelsey Conway (@KelseyLConway) October 25, 2023
With that being said, it’s time to stick with a game plan that works. OC Brian Callahan mentioned earlier this month about executing better versus switching everything up.
"Just have to execute better... You just don't roll out a whole new style of offense." Brian Callahan.— Mike Petraglia (@Trags) October 4, 2023
But you don’t necessarily have to roll out something completely new, rather just mix it up a little more or find what works and keep it.
Kay Adams and Matt Hamilton from the Up And Adams brought up an interesting point, especially with Burrow feeling closer to 100%.
Going under center allows for more opportunities, whether it’s play-action, bootleg outside, or any other trick play.
If the Bengals offense can get back to the same as ‘21 or ‘22, it will be a scary offense again. Week 8 will show a lot about this team. Since last week, the 49ers are still ranked as the sixth-best defense in the league, despite giving up 41 points and back-to-back losses. With reigning DPOY Nick Bosa, Fred Warner, and Arik Armstead, they will give the Bengals offensive line their biggest test of the year.
On the flip side, with Trey Hendrickson, Cam Taylor-Britt, and Logan Wilson having career-best seasons thus far, they have a chance to continue their same domination with Sam Darnold behind center after Purdy suffered a concussion.
Look for this to be a battle back-and-forth, both offensively and defensively, but will this highly motivated Bengals squad find their spark and maintain it?