ARLINGTON, Texas — Life with Joe Burrow is not presupposed to be this tough.
Life with Tee Higgins, Tyler Boyd and Ja’Marr Chase should not contain frustration on a day when no move is tried for greater than 25 yards and no play earns greater than 19.
Life with Joe Mixon should not characteristic 3.0 yards per carry.
Life with an overhauled offensive line of established veterans positively wasn’t supposed to provide 13 sacks in two video games and a lingering working sport in legal responsibility.
No, the offense with all of the firepower and award winners is not presupposed to be the issue and the explanation the defending AFC champions at the moment are mired in an 0-2 gap by the hands of Mitch Trubisky and Cooper. Rush.
“We’re actually wanting ahead to successful proper now,” Mixon stated. “There is no such thing as a must panic, however on the finish of the day, we have now to get to work. We all know what we have now in our locker room. Our protection has been working their asses off. Now we have to do every part we will on offense to counter what is going on on. It is an unlucky state of affairs, however we have now to be those to dig ourselves up.”
The Steelers and Cowboys adopted the identical sample of slowing down Burrow and the Bengals. They’re taking a look at a heavy dose of deep Tampa 2 protection designed to maintain every part in entrance of them. They do not wish to be part of Chase catching passes excessive or replicating the 12 50-plus yard performs that marred the Tremendous Bowl run final yr.
They pressure the Bengals to be affected person, shoot low and maintain lengthy drives. Drives just like the epic 19-play, 78-yard jaunt that tied the sport and shaved 8:46 off the clock. It featured three third-down conversions, a fourth-and-6 conversion and a two-point completion for Boyd.
“That is what it is presupposed to seem like,” Burrow stated.
Possibly. And as spectacular because the momentum was, it is not a sustainable mannequin for achievement.
“Groups will proceed to play us within the comfortable zone till we present we will beat them that manner,” Burrow stated. “We’re going to need to win otherwise this yr. We have to get that resolved shortly so we will get into the win column.”
Breaking down 4 elements that performed into the Bengals’ 20-17 loss to the Cowboys
Discovering out begins with a working sport that ranks as the largest disappointment in two weeks crammed with them. The glass-eating aggressors off Mixon had been presupposed to open up the working sport prospects. As a substitute, it served as an extension of the working sport that fell aside within the final 10 video games of final season.
Mixon had a 10-yard run on the primary play of the second half and that was the vary of the efficient working sport. He had 5 carries for 5 yards within the first half. There have been no holes. The sunshine bins and house which can be presupposed to be offered when groups play the cautious two-depth coverages weren’t taken benefit of.
If the Bengals do not get groups out of deep protection, this will likely be their plight: onerous jobs and uphill climbs. And extra repeating the phrase of the day within the gloomy post-match locker room.
“It is simply a part of the larger image that the offense would not run,” left sort out Jonah Williams stated. “We’re not executing properly sufficient early on and we’re not executing general.”
The shortage of “execution” led to them falling behind 17-3 for the second week in a row. The gamers lamented the gradual begin and mentioned the necessity to begin quick. This after every week of affirming the necessity to begin quick and keep away from the pitfalls of final week. Burrow stated his objective was to not flip the ball over and that is why he did it. He did not throw interceptions.
The culprits of the ugly first half of this week had been the primary makes an attempt.
“It appeared like we had been on first-and-15 for your complete first half,” he stated.
Solely two of the ten first-down performs within the first half went for greater than 4 yards. Two had been detrimental (sack, false begin by La’el Collins). These conditions led to a sport during which not a single via ball was tried. Within the first half, Burrow solely threw one move greater than 5 yards within the air.
The chase after the sport required extra deep pictures to be made. Sarcastically, he did the identical factor after a equally horrible offensive efficiency in Week 2 final yr at Chicago, a sport in addition they misplaced to a backup quarterback by three factors.
“It is a give and take,” Burrow stated. “We predict if we begin working the ball somewhat bit higher, that may open it up and groups are going to have to return out of the shell of two Tampa. The second half working sport is what it ought to seem like.”
Head coach Zac Taylor spoke of poor communication within the first half, which led to a number of detrimental performs early on. In his eyes, all of it performed along with zero makes an attempt to be explosive within the passing sport, apart from hoping for damaged tackles on quick tilts.
“We made some (capturing performs),” he stated. “I had to try them, rightly so. And so they did a superb job of attempting to remain on high. That was one factor: I attempted to duplicate Ja’Marr, I attempted to play Tampa 2 lots. When your effectivity on the primary down is not superb, it is easy for them to attempt to take that away from you, significantly early on.”
With the Bengals in deep vary, that led to the issue that has haunted them without end and was presupposed to be mounted final offseason with the addition of 4 new starters on the offensive line. Six extra sacks by Burrow left the quarterback visibly pissed off and at instances shaking his head and choosing his ribs.
In fact it was, by the best way. Taking so many hits in two weeks is greater than unsustainable. And after the 70-sack 2021 season, it is regarding that the Bengals find yourself taking place the highway once more. Towards Pittsburgh, the precise sport from the road wasn’t as dangerous because the seven sacks would have urged. Burrow wasn’t going to flip it 5 instances every week. You could possibly paint an image of optimism regardless of the loss. On Sunday in Dallas, even when the Bengals had come again and received the sport, it might have felt like a magic trick overlaying up an actual drawback.
You may’t have an offense that appears like a practice wreck down the center and survive. You may’t take the type of strain that hardly ever allowed Burrow to get into the pocket and largely made him look uncomfortable. Burrow and Taylor say he did not appear uncomfortable, nevertheless it’s onerous to really feel something apart from the ache of empathy seeing the punishment Micah Parsons and firm meted out.
Burrow was holding the ball attempting to make a play. That is a part of his sport, however not one of the sacks got here in beneath 2.9 seconds. This wasn’t about free runners and complete smells. These had been fights and pissed off escapes.
“Within the second half, I believed the safety was nice,” Burrow stated. “I can do a greater job of getting the ball out shortly.”
As conversations about what was occurring with the offense unfolded within the AT&T Stadium guests’ locker room, concepts and explanations had been in every single place.
Burrow thought the communication was wonderful, Taylor was not. Chase thought there must be extra deep hits. Lack of working sport was in charge, first downs had been an issue and too many sacks. A few of the sacks are in Burrow, some on the road, some on the schematic.
There have been so many points to level out that they produce direct contradictions.
“We’d like extra huge performs,” Mixon stated. “Now we have to take what the protection offers us.”
Sure, determining why life is so onerous for this crime will be perplexing and cussed. The reasons sounded the identical because the offense: as if everyone seems to be attempting to determine what the hell is occurring.
“We’re a quick, explosive offense,” Boyd stated. “We delight ourselves on that. On the finish of the day, we will do something. You wish to play a fast sport, go deep, no matter you need we’ll make it work. Now we have among the best quarterbacks within the sport. If we have now to make corrections and discover a new sport plan, that is the sport plan we have now to observe.”
The Bengals misplaced two straight video games on two separate events final yr, however by no means obtained to a few. They should beat the Jets (1-1) to keep away from that destiny. In any other case, it will get late quick. Dropping to the likes of Trubisky, Rush and Joe Flacco as Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, Lamar Jackson and Tom Brady wait in line simply makes a bleak begin worse.
Taylor says the rising concern over the combating offense is a symptom of loss.
“Folks will have a look at two video games from final yr and say one thing very comparable,” Taylor stated. “These reactions at all times occur if you lose a sport. It’s a lengthy season. That is what we inform our gamers. We’re simply going to take possession of those losses and proceed to enhance. We all know we have now a superb soccer staff. We shot ourselves within the foot somewhat early right here in two video games. There’s nonetheless an extended season to go and our guys will proceed to get higher and play higher and get some wins.”
“Oy-two it is robust, however there is not any panic,” Burrow stated. “There may be plenty of ball left to play.”
Will or not it’s performed as the primary half or the second half on Sunday? Will anybody perceive why the Bengals’ offense is such a multitude proper now? Relies on who you ask. The one factor nobody can argue with is that it should not be that onerous.
Everyone seems to be on the lookout for solutions, and because of Sunday’s failures in Dallas, the urgency to search out them has elevated.
“No matter we have now to do,” Collins stated, “we have now to do it and do it quick.”
(High photograph: Richard Rodriguez/Getty Photos)