It’s never good to start 0-2. It’s even worse when your star QB goes down in the process.
Sure, the Cincinnati Bengals bounced back from the same record last year to make the AFC Championship. But it feels different this time, in particular because we’ve yet to see Joe Burrow look like himself.
And fans are... worried, to say the least.
There is just no excuse for losing to a Baltimore team that banged up.— Drew Garrison (@DrewGarrison) September 17, 2023
I don’t care if Burrow’s leg isn’t 100%. He’s out there. No excuse.
0-2 again, 0-2 in the division. Brutal.
Now Baltimore fans, proceed to rightfully cook me. I earned it.
And there hasn’t been much indication that Cincinnati is starting to figure things out.
It’s fair to be more pessimistic about this 0-2 start than last year’s 0-2 start. Burrow looks like he’s finding his rhythm again, but he still looks shaky and so does the offense. And the run defense has a lot of question marks.— Mohammad Ahmad (@MohammadAhmadTV) September 17, 2023
Gonna be a long, long season.
The worst part? Burrow seems to have re-injured the calf that kept him out of practice in the preseason.
This takes things firmly from bad to worse. Nightmare scenario if Burrow aggravated the calf badly on top of the 0-2 start. https://t.co/01NVjS7JKs— Jake Liscow (@JakeLiscow) September 17, 2023
And that raises the question... should Burrow have even been playing? It seems pretty clear he hasn’t felt 100% healthy thus far, seeing as he’s contributed 304 yards passing in two games.
If Joe Burrow’s calf is that bad they should have just sat him the first two weeks. Now you’re 0-2 and he’s limping off the field— Blake Jewell (@BlakeJewellNFL) September 17, 2023
Burrow hasn’t gotten the right kind of touch on his throws these first two weeks, and that was never more apparent than on a terrible interception early in the third quarter.
It was so bad that even the most fervent Burrow supporters had to call him out on it.
Can’t believe he just threw that.— ZIM (@zimwhodey) September 17, 2023
A little earlier, late in the second half, the offense was booed for failing to generate any kind of spark.
: The #Bengals offense is currently getting booed off the field due to lack of production.— JPAFootball (@jasrifootball) September 17, 2023
Cincinnati has had 17 posessions so far this season but has failed to score a touchdown, per @JamesPalmerTV
9 of those posessions ended in three and outs. Not what we are… pic.twitter.com/JT7DF80nHc
Who could’ve seen any of this coming?
The offense is a mess. And the defense allowed a ton of big gains in the middle of the field, including the end of the game, when they allowed the Baltimore Ravens to run out the clock.
Ravens run final 7 plays, converting 3rd down twice,— LanceMcAlister (@LanceMcAlister) September 17, 2023
to run out the clock. #Bengals
Is there hope? Sure. Burrow could be back soon, and a team this stacked could put another winning streak together.
But right now, fans are a bit shocked by the performance of a team that seemed like a surefire contender.
Joe Burrow on his re-aggravated right calf. pic.twitter.com/J9dQwpFx7E— Mike Petraglia (@Trags) September 17, 2023
I don't have the facts, but if his calf is a major issue, maybe consider resting him?— Grumpy Middle-aged Sports Fan (Josh Kirkendall) (@Josh_Kirkendall) September 17, 2023
Seems like your options are:
1) Deal with a bum calf all season and hope he can just fight through it.
2) Rest/rehab several weeks. Return healthy and make a late season run for a WC spot. https://t.co/sGEO2eC1LM
I still think the Bengals are a really good football team and they’ll win plenty of games but at some point they have to figure out how to prepare for a season— Blake Jewell (@BlakeJewellNFL) September 17, 2023
These slow starts just can’t happen. They put themselves in a hole immediately
Bad news: The @Bengals are 0-2 for the 4th time on 5 seasons. The good news? They’re the only team since 2020 to make the postseason after starting 0-2.. doing so last season— trey wingo (@wingoz) September 17, 2023
Joe Burrow also didn’t hobble to the sideline after his last pass of the second game last season.— Mo Egger (@MoEgger) September 17, 2023
They were 0-3 in the division last year before rattling off 10-straight wins https://t.co/GliEiAKMQk— Elise Jesse (@EliseJesseTV) September 17, 2023
"Just stay patient with us. ... It's September 17." Zac Taylor to Bengals fans. "I feel we're in great shape."— Mike Petraglia (@Trags) September 17, 2023