Welcome to the Jungle: Week 7 Recap

In a game with crazy plays, funny celebrations, and hard hits, the Cincinnati Bengals loss 29-14 to the Pittsburgh Steelers last Sunday.

A lot of people predicted this game to be close and intense, a game to go down to the wire. In the first half it looked that. After three possessions for both teams, it was 14-14. After the Bengals second touchdown, the offense performance went down hill. They did not score once after that. Andy Dalton and the offensive line were to blame.

If people know Andy Dalton, it’s not for winning games. In fact, they probably know him for the opposite reason. Dalton is not clutch when you need him to be, and that showed again Sunday. Andy Dalton threw for 140 yards, 2 TDs and 2 INT. He missed quite of few throws in the second half. There was one play in particular that had many asking questions. On 4th down, and especially needing a first down with just over 3 minutes left, Dalton threw the ball away. He seemed he gave up. It was not a good day for Dalton.

The Bengals had trouble getting playmakers the ball. Green had only 3 catches for 41 yards. This was due to the fact that Dalton wasn’t playing good, the o-line couldn’t hold on to their blocks, and Marvin Lewis. Joe Mixon was also a question during the game. Not for his performance, but why he didn’t get the ball at all the 2nd half. Mixon was nearly averaging 7 yards a carry in the first half, he had 7 carries for 48 yards. Butt in the 2nd half he had no carries at all. Mixon wasn’t very happy about this. But Coach Lewis said Mixon needed to mature, and said he didn’t run it because in the words of Lewis “We are not creating a run game when we are down by 12 or 15.” However, this makes little sense because the Bengals were only down by 6 to start the 2nd half. This makes you question about Marvin Lewis decisions.

The offensive line for the Bengals are yet again an issue. Dalton seemed to have no time in the pocket. They remain to be the biggest weakness on the Bengals team. If the Bengals are facing a good D-line, they are likely going to struggle.

Antonio Brown on the first drive torched the Bengals. However, after the 1st drive, he was quiet. Bengals can thank cornerback William Jackson for this. For most of the game, William Jackson was shutting Brown down. Ben Roethlisberger tested Jackson a bunch by going deep to Brown, but Jackson would knock the ball away. Other corner backs such as Darqueze Dennard and Dre Kirkpatrick struggled. Just about everybody else in the secondary struggled for the most part. Strong Safety Shawn Williams was missing tackles, Free safety George Iloka was getting beat by tight ends, and every other corner was getting beat.

 

The linebackers struggled a bunch. There were many missed tackles. Vontaze Burfict quietly did the best, but he didn’t make any big plays. Nick Vigil, who has really stepped up this year, had a bad day. He fell victim to Leveon Bells quickness. To make matters worse, Kevin Minter left with an elbow injury, and he likely is out for a while. Vincent Rey played more with that injury, but he struggled like other running backs.

The better performers on the defense line were 2 defensive ends, Carlos Dunlap and Michael Johnson. Neither of them had a sack, but they were factors in stopping Bell. Despite Bell running all over the Bengals defense, Johnson and Dunlap were the only ones consistently making tackles, and tackles for loss. After a slow start from Johnson this year he has really stepped up for the Bengals.

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