Joe Burrow’s ‘magic’ might not be enough to save the Cincinnati Bengals this year

After shedding to the Cowboys Sunday, the Cincinnati Bengals fell to 0-2. It would appear girl luck has deserted ship and put final 12 months’s Super Bowl runner-up on discover that it won’t be as simple as as soon as thought. Building a perennial winner within the NFL is tough, which is why we see a lot turnover of successful groups annually.

Everyone is aware of the percentages of creating the postseason aren’t nice. Since the league expanded its playoff format to 14 groups, it appears more durable to dig out of an 0-2 gap even with two additional spots and an additional recreation within the common season. No crew that’s begun the season 0-2 since 2020 has made the postseason. Yes, it’s a small pattern measurement, however 16 groups have failed.

Too shut for consolation

Last season the Bengals received 5 video games by three factors or much less, with two of these victories throughout their run to the Super Bowl. Both of their losses in 2022 have been by three factors. These have been two video games Cincy may’ve received and have been anticipated to.

There’s loads of blame to go round for opening the season 0-2. But one of many predominant culprits is among the identical points they confronted in ‘21. The protection of quarterback Joe Burrow is downright embarrassing. The amazing part is Cincinnati addressed this problem during the offseason by “upgrading” the offensive line.

So far, those upgrades haven’t panned out. Burrow was sacked six occasions in opposition to Dallas in Week 2. The earlier week, Pittsburgh obtained to Burrow seven occasions. Burrow was sacked the most within the league final season. He was dropped 51 occasions within the common season and one other 19 in 4 playoff video games, together with the Super Bowl.

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Cincinnati’s total document was 13-8 final 12 months when factoring within the postseason. QBs that get sacked that a lot don’t normally make runs to the Super Bowl. Living on Burrow magically making one thing out of nothing isn’t a sustainable recipe for achievement.

Looking up on the lights

Burrow isn’t the primary QB to be sacked 50-plus occasions in a season to make the playoffs. Russell Wilson was sacked 1 time in ‘18 and was able to lead Seattle to a playoff berth. Randall Cunningham was sacked 60 times during the ‘92 regular season with the Philadelphia Eagles. That team also made the playoffs winning 11 games that year. In ‘85, the Jets made the postseason after allowing 62 sacks on Ken O’Brien.

Making the playoffs isn’t unimaginable when your QB is sacked greater than 50 occasions however happening a run and taking part in within the greatest recreation of the 12 months is a special story. That’s what makes this Bengals crew an outlier. If they do nothing else, they’ve obtained to enhance at defending Burrow. Because it most likely received’t be the identical end result this season. Of course, that’s no secret, however as we’ve seen, it’s a lot simpler mentioned than performed.

Don’t sleep on the schedule

Next on the schedule is the New York Jets. Luckily for Cincy, the Jets protection has simply three sacks of their first two video games. But the Jets did pull off a stunning victory over the Browns Sunday in a recreation no person had them successful. Sounds like the identical scenario for Dallas heading into the Bengals recreation with Cooper Rush as QB1.

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On paper, the Bengals ought to beat the Jets simply. But on paper and actual life are two solely completely different realms. Nobody thought Rush would play effectively sufficient for the Cowboys to beat the Bengals. Rush wasn’t spectacular, however he was regular and didn’t make any huge errors. Dallas’ protection did the remaining.

The Jets aren’t anticipated to do a lot this 12 months, however with Zach Wilson out a pair extra weeks, they’re permitting Joe Flacco to get his groove again. In their win over the Browns Sunday, previous man Flacco threw 44 occasions for 307 yards and 4 touchdowns. He didn’t make the massive mistake both. In the Jets’ Week 1 loss to the Ravens, Flacco dropped again to move 59 occasions. Get prepared for a shootout, Bengals followers.

If the Bengals are going to get on observe anytime quickly, it must occur in Week 3 in opposition to the Jets. The Miami Dolphins go to Cincy in Week 4, led by the league’s latest QB-WR energy couple in Tua Tagovailoa and Tyreek Hill. Tua had six TD passes in opposition to the Ravens of their Week 2 matchup, out dueling Lamar Jackson.

It’s time for these Bengals to get targeted and clear up the errors on the offensive line. If Cincy can’t repair that leaky offensive line, they might return to the identical ‘ol Bengals we’ve recognized for many years. 

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